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Trailer Rollover Snarls Highway Traffic

The crash injured the driver and slowed motorists for more than an hour.

A travel trailer rollover crash on southbound Highway 1 north of Watsonville slowed traffic for more than an hour Wednesday afternoon, the California Highway Patrol reported.

The accident, near Larkin Valley Road, happened just before 12:30 p.m. when a red Chevy S10 pulling the travel trailer flipped in the middle lane, according to CHP officer Sarah Jackson.

The crash blocked two of the three southbound lanes. Emergency crews briefly closed the third temporarily and rerouted traffic down San Andreas Road to avoid the wreck, according to the CHP website. Later, the fast lane was reopened and traffic was allowed to crawl past the accident.

The 46-year-old man driving the pickup suffered minor injuries in the crash, Jackson reported.

Fire crews and a towing company were at the scene for much of the afternoon trying to remove the flipped travel trailer. Traffic backed up past State Park Drive, a few miles north. The road was cleared a little before 3 p.m, according to the CHP.

Shirley Christmore Stroh May 09, 2012 at 09:46 PM
Why are toy pickups allowed to pull something heavier and bigger than the little truck. Not using common sense!!
Cathy P. May 09, 2012 at 11:18 PM
Being the co-owner of a 5th wheel trailer myself, I'm willing to bet that the accident was caused by either the driver of the trailer exceeding the speed limit or that the driver of the trailer was abruptly cut-off by another speeding motorist, frustrated by the slower speed of the driver of the trailer (towing vehicles are not allowed to exceed 55 mph). The retired guy and I have been cut off many a time by drivers who don't realize that we can't just stop 12,000 pounds plus of rubber & metal on a dime when they attempt to merge in front or pass us on the highway. And from the looks of the truck and the size of the trailer in the picture, it appears the truck was big enough to be legally be towing the trailer. One upon a time, we towed a 21ft trailer with our ToyotaTacoma just fine.
David H. Perez May 10, 2012 at 01:20 AM
I am the "retired guy" my dear itsmecissy referred to. True, we used to tow a 21-foot lightweight travel trailer with a Toyota Tacoma, with the proper weight distribution hitch, sway control and electric brake control. We payed close attention to the truck's weight capacity as well as that of the trailer. I cannot make a judgement on this accident based on the limited information given. So there are a lot of unanswered questions. Was the truck's GVWR rated to handle the weight of the truck, trailer, occupants and cargo (to include fresh water, waste water, the weight of the driver and passenger(s), dishes, food, fishing gear, etc.)? Was the truck in good mechanical shape? Was the electric brake control functional and properly calibrated? Don't know. But itsmecissy is entirely right - many impatient and aggressive drivers on the road do not understand that when you are towing a trailer, you are not allowed to exceed 55 MPH. The empty weight of our truck and trailer exceeds 17,000 pounds. Add the driver, passengers and cargo, we are talking about right around 20,000 pounds. So when some idiot in a smaller vehicle decides to teach us a lesson by driving dangerously and cutting us off, we cannot stop on a dime like a Ford Focus, Toyota Celica or a Smartcar. Chances are, based on the weight of our vehicle and the armor around us, the immature driver in the other vehicle will bear the brunt of the damage and injuries should a crash occur.
Jennifer Squires May 10, 2012 at 02:35 AM
Just drove past the crash scene. Looks like the trailer won't be salvageable—it's in a mangled heap off to the side of the highway awaiting a Dumpster.
Shirley Christmore Stroh May 10, 2012 at 04:22 PM
The DMV codes for allowing weight and type of tow vehicles needs to be looked at. As retired trucker, you see so many little S10 pickups trying to pull huge trailers. Did not see the truck just what news said it was looking at that trailer, it is dual wheels so it's a bigger one. An S10 is NOT heavy enough to deal with that size trailer! And it is true people rage at us when we are in our RV and holding them up. But, oh well, we usually will get out of their way, you know "bear bait" is a good thing! Smile, it will only get worse!

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