2ND ACCIDENT IN 2 DAYS TO DROP HEAVY OBJECTS OFF ELEVATED RAMPS IN LA MESA
By Miriam Raftery
December 12, 2009 (La Mesa) – A big rig smashed into a wall on an elevated I-8 connector in La Mesa around 10:20 a.m., knocking chunks of concrete onto southbound SR-125 below. The truck cab teetered precariously as a portion of the wall crumbled high above the roadway, reports Miriam Raftery, who was traveling on 125 moments after the accident occurred as emergency vehicles arrived overhead.
Just one day earlier in the same area of La Mesa, shortly before 9 a.m. on Friday, a taxi driver and passenger narrowly escaped death when a 25-ton steel pipe rolled off a flatbed truck and plummeted 75 feet off an elevated freeway connector.
In Friday's freak accident, the truck careened out of control on the connector from southbound State Route 125 to eastbound I-8. A massive 50-foot-long, eight-food diameter pipe plunged over the edge of the bridge, crashing onto La Mesa Boulevard below.
The twin accidents raise issues about the safety of the towering ramp design, which banks sharply where the accidents occurred. CAL-TRANs was not open on the weekend to respond to questions about whether the height of the walls should be raised or walls strengthened to protect motorists below. The dual serious accidents also raise yet-to-be-answered questions about the training and fitness of the truck drivers responsible for the accidents.
Channel 10 News reported that the fallen pipe crushed the passenger side of the taxi and left a large crater in the pavement. The 47-year-old cab driver and his 73-year-old passenger were taken to the hospital with undisclosed injuries, however the driver was released later in the day, The off ramp will remain closed until sometime next week to repair damages. Channel 10 reported that witnesses said the driver may have been speeding when he lost control of the vehicle.
View a video at http://www.10news.com/video/21946800/index.html.