'Everybody makes mistakes on Friday the 13th'

Mistaking a runaway truck escape median along Angeles Crest Highway for a place to pull over Friday, a truck driver stopped to call his boss and confirm the destination for a delivery of 20 tons of gravel.

When the driver tried to pull away around 10:48 a.m. he couldn’t get out of the median, which is filled with gravel for the purpose of stopping runaway vehicles traveling southbound on the highway.

“He thought that was a good place to stop,” said Debra Herman, a sergeant with the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station. “With 20 tons of gravel, you’re going to sink in there.”

The lane was set up to avoid disasters similar to the April 2009 crash involving driver Marcos Costa, when two people were killed.

“That accident was so horrific and that’s why that [lane] is there,” Herman said. “It’s frustrating people don’t realize there are purposes for things. If someone hit that truck while it was stuck it could have been disastrous.”

The rescue call came in around 10:48 a.m. but the incident won’t end up costing taxpayers because the driver arranged for a tow company to come pull the truck out on his own, Herman said.

“When the call went out it was like, ‘Oh my.’ You can only hope it was nothing horrible but it was just nothing,” said Herman, who said the incident didn’t impact traffic, although there were people stopping to take pictures of the scene.

All the driver’s paperwork and license checked out, Herman said.

“It’s Friday the 13th,” she said. “Everybody makes mistakes on Friday the 13th.”

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