UPDATED FRIDAY: The man killed in the crash was Jesus Gonzalez, Jr.
Highway 129 was closed for hours Tuesday after a big-rig lost control and flipped off the road near Aromas, killing the 63-year-old driver.
The fatal crash was reported around 3:30 p.m. Vehicles were rerouted around the accident while the Coroner's Office and California Highway Patrol officers investigated.
The truck—hauling two trailers equipped to carry cement—was heading west on 129 at an unknown speed when the driver, a Watsonville man, lost control about seven miles outside of town. The rig crossed into oncoming traffic and flipped of the side of the road, landing upside-down against an oak tree, according to the CHP.
It wasn't immediately clear if the truck's two massive cement tanks were loaded.
"I suspect (the truck) is, though, the force threw it off so hard," Boles said.
One cement tank detached from the trailer and landed about 30-40 feet from the highway. The tongue of one trailer wrapped around a tree and the front end of the big was mangled.
The truck belonged to Gonzalez Trucking, a Watsonville company. Boles said it wasn't known where the driver was coming from or heading when he crashed.
No other vehicles were involved in the accident.
Highway 129, a two-lane road that connects Watsonville to Highway 101, is prone to bad crashes. It's been the target of road safety projects for years.
"There's been so man improvements to 129," Boles said. "... We do get our share of accidents but it's on the decline."
CHP motorcycle officer Sam Courtney added, "I think 129's safer now than a few years ago."
The cause of Tuesday's accident remains under investigation and the man's name was not released, pending notification of his family.