Santa Paula Times

Crash magnet: Edwards Ranch Overpass struck by a big rig — again

March 31, 2017
Santa Paula News

One lane of Highway 126 had to be closed Monday after an equipment carrying big rig once again whacked the Edwards Ranch Overpass, described in the past by public safety officials as a “crash magnet.”

The driver, according to the California Highway Patrol took off after the March 27 mishap that occurred about 2:30 p.m.

One lane of the westbound highway was closed after the big rig hit the overpass located between Briggs Road and Wells Road, knocking pieces of concrete off the structure.

Crews from Caltrans were dispatched to clean up the highway and inspect the overpass, which has been battered several times by big rigs.

The incident backed up traffic, which had to be narrowed to one westbound lane. 

The CHP said the driver of the big rig left the scene; he was driving a white semi-trailer hauling a “large yellow apparatus.” The arms of the apparatus, possibly a backhoe, struck the bridge although a smaller exactor also being hauled did not cause damage.

The driver was described as a dark hair man wearing a white shirt and sunglasses.

In January 2015 one person was injured in a similar mishap at the overpass, the scene of several accidents over the years. 

In October 2009, after a series of bottom hits by passing trucks, a backhoe boom struck the overpass that caused concrete chunks to fall onto the highway. The eastbound lanes were closed for about four hours during that incident.

In April 2011 several people were injured and westbound Highway 126 closed for about five hours after lifts accidentally activated on a semi-truck that struck the overpass.

Falling concrete caused a crash that involved five other vehicles and resulted in numerous injuries. At that time, a public safety official said the overpass could be described as a “crash magnet.”