A 39-year-old Crescent City man traveling on the Dr. Fine Bridge on Highway 101 was killed Tuesday morning when his car drifted across the double line and collided head-on with a 70,000-pound 18-wheeler driven by a Harbor man.
The driver was traveling northbound on the bridge shortly before 11 a.m. when, for unknown reasons, he crossed the double line into the 18-wheeler's path, according to California Highway Patrol.
The truck driver, William Terebesi, 42, of Harbor, walked away uninjured. The Mazda driver's name is being withheld pending notification of family.
Officer Deina Hernandez of CHP said that upon collision, the truck driver, whose trailer was carrying a full load of wood chips from Coos Bay, lost control of his vehicle and traveled 60 feet down the western embankment.
“As it was going down the embankment it overturned,” Hernandez said.
Arrangements have been made to retrieve the truck, and the highway will remain open during that process, Hernandez said. The bridge was closed for about three hours Tuesday while investigators processed the scene and debris was cleared.
The Mazda, which sustained severe front-end damage, hit the eastern guardrail on the bridge and ended up facing west in the northbound lane. The driver died upon impact, Hernandez said.
Wier’s Mortuary, Fort Dick Fire, Smith River Fire, California, Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office, Caltrans, and Del Norte Ambulance responded.
Construction planned for the Dr. Fine Bridge today was unaffected by the accident because crews were working underneath the bridge at the time of the accident, Hernandez said.
Any witnesses of the accident should contact CHP at 707-464-3117.