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Many drivers begrudge the large semitrailers and box trucks they see on California's roadways. They don't like sharing the road with these vehicles because they tend to be slower and louder than cars and can restrict visibility. They also stand the chance of doing much more damage in the event of an accident, both because of their sheer force and their inability to slow down as quickly.

A truck accident is being blamed for a subsequent head-on collision in Madera County this week that killed three people. According to California Highway Patrol troopers, a semitrailer was traveling on Highway 152 and was attempting to make a left-hand turn onto Road 16. Visibility was low at the time due to heavy fog. As the driver began making the turn, another tractor-trailer clipped the back of the turning truck, causing it to overturn. That sent the truck's load of hay bales spilling all over the road.

Just then, yet another large truck approached and tried to serve around the hay bales to avoid an accident. But because these vehicles are so big that they're difficult to maneuver, the third truck crossed into the opposing lanes of traffic and struck a car head-on. The three people in the car, all of them San Jose residents, were killed in the collision. It's not clear whether the first two truck drivers were hurt, but the driver of the third truck suffered moderate injuries.


When a 39-year-old San Jose woman left home on the morning of just another normal day, she didn't know she would be involved in a crash that would leave her in critical condition. No one expects tragedy to strike as they go about the everyday routines of daily life, yet brain injuries like the one this woman suffered do happen -- even in such a typical exchange as being cut off by another driveway on a highway.

The woman was driving a Toyota Camry when she swerved to avoid colliding with a driver who cut her off around 5 a.m. The Toyota then rolled several times before landing sideways across the fast lane and median, with traffic coming at the passenger side of the car. Her car was broadsided when another driver in a Toyota MR2 struck her stopped vehicle. She was subsequently rushed to a nearby hospital and was in critical condition after being diagnosed with serious head trauma.

The driver who initially cut off the woman in the Camry sped away, never stopping. The California Highway Patrol has no information regarding that vehicle.

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