A truck hauling cargo overturned and fell off the side of a highway in Mendocino County Thursday after its driver apparently ignored several road signs warning his vehicle was too big for the route, officials said.
Christopher Cortez of Lodi was injured, but cited for not heeding traffic restrictions in a construction zone, the California Highway Patrol said in a press release.
The incident occurred around 1:25 p.m. as Cortez was driving his Peterbilt, towing a loaded trailer of plywood, west on Highway 175 a few miles east of Hopland, according to CHP.
As he neared the construction zone, Cortez passed multiple signs notifying motorist that any vehicle over 39 feet in length is prohibited, “which he failed to obey,” the release states.
Wayne Freedman, a reporter for KGO-TV in San Francisco, shared footage of one of the large, lit-up signs lining the roadway.
Certainly plenty of warnings for long trucks along Rt.175#abc7now pic.twitter.com/eMQ0HFgSPG
— Wayne Freedman (@WayneFreedman) October 12, 2018
In video of the incident posted by Caltrans to Facebook, a construction crew building a retaining wall along a one-lane section of the route can be heard commenting on the impending disaster.
“Oh, he’s in it, he’s in it to win it,” one of the contractors says at the beginning of the video.
The agency noted that “the audio of this video was edited to remove expletives of surprise from our crew.”
The footage shows Cortez’s trailer beginning to slip off the road as he inches down a curved incline, eventually pulling down the truck’s cab sharply down the ravine.
According to Caltrans, Cortez isn’t the first driver to attempt the feat. “Sometimes they simply get stuck, but others end up going over the embankment,” the agency said.
CHP has ruled out alcohol or drugs in contributing to Thursday’s incident.