Woman Killed in Big Rig Crash on Interstate 5 near Lebec

LEBEC (August 24, 2009–2:28 p.m.)—California Highway Patrol Officer Patrick Etchebarne reported details of the fatal runaway truck accident that took the life of Sumiko Imamura, 67 on Sunday, Aug. 23 at 4 p.m. The big rig was traveling north on Interstate-5 at Fort Tejon when it lost its brakes, Etchebarne said. "The truck continued to gain speed down the hill and collided with a Mazda sport utility vehicle in the I-5 northbound fast lane, just north of the runaway escape ramp on the west side of the road. This caused the Mazda to travel onto a dirt embankment west of the freeway where it rolled over. A  passenger was ejected from this vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene.

"The truck tractor continued northbound and collided with a Ford Pickup within the second lane. This collision caused debris to be propelled into the third lane where it struck a Subaru Impreza. The truck continued on northbound until it came to rest just north of Laval Road. The driver was subsequently arrested for gross vehicular manslaughter and was booked at the Kern County jail," Etchebarne concluded.

Additional detail will be included in this week’s issue of The Mountain Enterprise.

LEBEC (August 24, 2009–8 a.m.)—Sumiko Imamura, 67 was killed Sunday, Aug. 23 at about 4 p.m. in a collision with a runaway big rig on the Interstate 5 near Lebec. The Fresno woman was ejected from her vehicle when the semi-tractor and trailer rig hit two cars while traveling in the northbound lane of the I-5, near Fort Tejon, ".75 mile south of Grapevine Road," according to Assistant Kern County Coroner James Holt. Ms. Imamura was pronounced deceased at the accident scene. Further details will be reported as available.

This is part of the August 21, 2009 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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