Most Viewed Stories
UPDATE: Identification of I-5 collision victim may take time
Anyone with information about the fatal crash on northbound Interstate 5 near Husted Road about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday is encouraged to call the CHP at 473-2821.
The identification of a motorist killed in a collision with a big rig on Tuesday night is likely to take some time, the California Highway Patrol reported.
First identified as a Woodland resident, investigators are actually following leads in Woodburn, Ore., where the 1988 Porsche 944 he was driving was registered, said CHP Officer John Waggoner, the public information officer out of the Williams CHP office.
The Porsche was traveling southbound on Interstate 5 when it crossed over the center divide into the path of the 2008 International tractor-trailer driven by Hardip S. Takhar, 35, of Woodland.
By the time Takhar realized the Porsche was coming right at him, it was too late.
"I tried to stop," said Takhar, who was driving the big rig for Kharod Enterprises of Fremont.
Takhar said he saw the headlights in front of him, but the Porsche was only about 100 to 150 feet away when he realized it was in the center divide and coming toward him.
"I slammed on my brakes and just tried to control my truck," he said.
The accident occurred about 9:30 p.m., one mile south of the Husted Road exit.
The Porsche was mangled and charred from the fire that engulfed it after it skidded to a stop on the shoulder. The driver was trapped inside, but authorities said it is likely he died on impact.
The extensive damage to the car, especially as the result of the fire, has made identifying the driver difficult, and his identification may require the Colusa County Coroner's Office to rely on dental records.
The big rig also suffered extensive damage to its front end, but Takhar and his passenger, Sarabjit Singh, 59, of Woodland, were not injured. Between 400 and 500 gallons of diesel fuel were spilled, mostly off the driving lanes, the CHP reported.
Northbound traffic was backed up nearly four miles and slowly rolled past the accident scene.
Investigators scoured the southbound side of the interstate to determine where the Porsche may have left the paved roadway, but needed the morning light to gather critical skid mark information to determine how fast the Porsche might have been traveling.
The truck was reported to be going about 55 mph, the CHP said.
Officer Rafael Cervantes, the lead investigator, said no driver who might have witnessed the Porsche's path stopped at the scene.
It was the fifth road death in Colusa County this year, all but one since Sept. 21. They involved four accidents. The first occurred on the Memorial Day weekend, Waggoner said.
In 2011, there were eight deaths recorded in seven traffic collision, including two children in a June crash near Arbuckle.