Caltrans OKd Oversized Load in Crash, CHP Says

Caltrans approved the route driven by a trucker whose oversized load clipped an overpass, slid off the truck and killed a man in a sports car last week, a California Highway Patrol officer said Monday.

Tam Trong Tran was killed just before 8 p.m. Friday when the container fell off the truck and slammed into his car, which was traveling behind the truck.

The trucker, Lyle Wilson, 42, of Salt Lake City, had a permit to carry the 15-foot load. He drove under a 14-foot, 10-inch, bridge on the Orange Freeway at La Palma Avenue in Anaheim.

The tractor-trailer was traveling that evening from Xerxes Corp. in Anaheim, where the fuel tank cargo was made, to Ogden, Utah.

CHP Officer J. Dunn, who investigates commercial vehicles for mechanical problems, said that Wilson had been following his approved route Friday when the accident occurred.

"He had been following his route, and the state approved his permit," he said.

A trucker is required to have a permit when loads exceed 14 feet, Dunn said. Forms filled out for Caltrans permits include information on the truck's height.

Dennis Green, a spokesman for Caltrans District 8, said he could neither confirm nor deny whether his agency approved the route for the 15-foot-high load.

Trucking companies submit permits to Caltrans detailing the height of loads above 14 feet and the routes that drivers plan to use. Caltrans must approve the route as safe for the height listed on the permit in order for a trucker to drive it, said Warren Hoemann, vice president of the California Trucking Assn.

"The larger loads are a very specialized business handled by a small number of carriers," he said. "For carriers that carry oversized loads . . . they work with Caltrans and make sure they're on the right route."

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