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Big rig crash off Highway 99 in Turlock kills one man, injures another
Collision barely missed striking Avena Bella apartments
big rig crash pic 2
A big rig traveling on Highway 99 crashed into the carport at the Avena Bella apartments striking three parked vehicles. The big rig driver was killed in the collision and another man suffered minor injuries. - photo by FRANKIE TOVAR/The Journal



A semi truck driver died Thursday morning after his tractor trailer veered off the highway and crashed into a carport, narrowly missing the Turlock apartment complex.

The driver was identified as Sukhmander Gill, 65, of Livingston.

The collision also injured a man who was in a parked car that was struck by the big rig, reported California Highway patrol spokesperson Officer Eric Parsons.

The collision was reported just before 10 a.m. Thursday at the Avena Bella apartment complex in the 500 block of W. Linwood Avenue.

The Freightliner had been traveling northbound on Highway 99 at an undetermined speed when for an unknown reason Gill allowed the semi truck to veer off the highway and onto the shoulder. From there the big rig crashed through a chain link fence and a concrete sound barrier wall between the complex and the freeway. The semi crashed into a carport, striking three parked vehicles, one of which, a Toyota Tacoma pickup, was occupied at the time.

The man in the Toyota Tacoma sustained minor injuries and was taken to Emanuel Medical Center for treatment, Parsons said. He was identified as Jose Valencia, 26, of Turlock.

Gill sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Parsons said there were no signs on the freeway that Gill tried to brake before leaving the roadway.

It’s unknown at this time if drugs or alcohol played a factor in the collision, or if the driver was distracted in any way.

The collision also caused some damage to a fourth vehicle and at least one apartment, which had broken windows. Sand was used to absorb the diesel fuel that leaked from the semi as a result of the collision.

The Turlock Fire Department and American Medical Response both assisted at the scene.