One person was killed and another suffered minor injuries when a newspaper delivery truck struck a parked big rig on Thursday.
Traffic was snarled for more than six hours after the crash, which occurred on southbound Interstate 5 south of Ortega Highway at 5:10 a.m.
The truck, owned by the Orange County Register, was traveling about 55 m.p.h. in the second lane from the right shoulder when it suddenly swerved and hit the tractor-trailer, which was parked on the shoulder, according to Ken Daily, a public affairs officer for the California Highway Patrol.
The truck’s driver, Primitivo Escobar, 34, of Santa Ana, was pronounced dead at the scene, Daily said. The CHP officer said investigators have not determined the cause of the crash. The truck was loaded with 10,000 pounds of newspapers.
Investigators for the CHP believe that the refrigerated tractor-trailer, owned by Walter Transport of New York City, had run out of gas. Warning reflectors had been placed near it.
The truck’s driver, Carlos I. Torres, 36, of New York City, was asleep in the back. Torres complained of back pain after the crash and was taken to Samaritan Medical Center in San Clemente, Daily said.
Both vehicles went partially off the shoulder and into a ditch, and three lanes of the highway were closed until 11:20 a.m. while the newspapers were unloaded and tow trucks pulled out the vehicles.
Escobar, who had worked at the newspaper for more than nine years, was described as “a very hard worker, very dedicated,” by a supervisor. He is survived by his wife, Martha, who also works at the Register, and three children.