A truck transporting an empty water tank on northbound Interstate 15 Monday collided with an overpass, causing the truck to wobble and swerve before it landed on its side on the highway shoulder.
The driver, Matt Ream, was trapped inside the cab of the truck for close to half an hour as emergency crews cut him free from the wreckage.
Ream, who was driving between 50 and 55 mph on I-15 around 8 a.m., hadn't realized that he failed to lower the hydraulic boom on the truck after loading on the water tank. That made the truck too tall to clear the Ammo Road overpass safely, according to California Highway Patrol spokesperson Brad Baehr.
“The boom hit the concrete structure and that caused him to steer to the right, and then the vehicle started to fishtail a little bit,” said Baehr.
“I tried to regain it," said Ream who not only walked away from the accident but who also talked with reporters soon after being pulled from the wreck. "I just tried to get it off the freeway. This open area here and that’s where I pointed it."
Ream spoke calmly to reporters when he described the accident. "It's Monday," he said shrugging. "I just can't believe that happened."
Even though he wasn't seriously injured in the crash, emergency crews worked hard to free him. His leg was pinned in the cab. Only the side of his head and his hands show signs of the minor injuries. "My hands," he said. "Pride mainly. That's what's hurt."
Ream hadn't called his wife when we spoke with him but he did say he could hear his phone beeping beneath the truck while crews were trying to rescue him.
Cal Trans inspected the overpass and said it is structurally intact. It appears as if the overpass was simply grazed in the accident, according to Baehr.
The CHP said officers are still investigating whether Ream will be cited in the accident.