UPDATED: Thursday, May 28, 11:15 a.m. With Coroner’s release of information.
ANDERSON, Calif. — Officials have identified a big rig driver who was killed while outside his truck after crashing into a guardrail on the southbound Interstate 5 in Anderson early Monday morning, May 25.
The deadly accident, which happened near the Deschutes Rd. off ramp, caused traffic to back up several miles and area commuters later reported lengthy delays in their travel times while officials worked at the scene.
CHP and other emergency personnel were dispatched to the area around 4 a.m., after receiving reports of a body in the roadway, according to a CHP incident log.
The 911 caller told emergency dispatchers he was a truck driver and that he had managed to get traffic stopped and that both lanes were blocked.
CHP Sgt. Annie Garcia photographs the scene where a truck driver was killed on I-5 near Deschutes Rd. Monday morning.
When officers arrived they found a man in the southbound lanes of the roadway with major traumatic injuries as a result of a collision. He was pronounced deceased at the scene by emergency personnel, officials later reported.
The victim has since been identified as 55-year-old Robert Edward Sturghill, of Fresno, California, Shasta County Chief Deputy Coroner Lt. Gunsauls reported this morning; saying, “The decedent’s next-of-kin has been notified and a postmortem examination has been scheduled.”
During their subsequent investigation, CHP determined the deadly accident happened after Sturghill crashed into a guardrail and had possibly exited his semi to check on damage when he was fatally struck.
“He exited the driver side of the semi truck and was in the lanes and at some point was struck,” CHP Sgt. Annie Garcia later said of the deadly accident.
At the time Garcia reported that it was unknown who hit the victim and that officers were still working on gathering details related to the accident.
Although traffic was lighter this Memorial Day weekend due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis, Garcia said that didn’t mean officers weren’t busy handling major injury and fatal accidents throughout the area.
“Unfortunately with lighter traffic, speeds are up so we just ask people to slow it down a little because things like this happen and when you’re at fast speeds you can’t negotiate a person in the roadway,” added Garcia.
CHP’s investigation is ongoing and anyone with information regarding the crash or who witnessed the deadly accident is encouraged to contact CHP’s Redding Area Station at (530) 225-0500. Callers can refer to incident file number 2020-0332 and can remain anonymous.