Two die in accident on Kanan Dume Road

0
166
Two people were killed today, and one injured, when a 16-wheeler truck lost control on Kanan Dume Road and slammed into a Mercedes-Benz heading east on Pacific Coast Highway. An SUV that was also hit caught fire, and there was fear that it could spark a brush fire at the scene. Photo by Steve Littlejohn

Fire causes fear of another brush fire.

By Jonathan Friedman and Laura Tate / The Malibu Times

Two people were killed today, and one injured, when a 16-wheeler truck lost control on Kanan Dume Road and slammed into a Mercedes-Benz heading east on Pacific Coast Highway. An SUV that was also hit caught fire, and there was fear that it could spark a brush fire at the scene.

The driver of the truck and the driver of the Mercedes, one man and one unidentified, died immediately. The identities of the dead persons are not known at this time.

Officials said that the driver of the double-tractor trailer dump truck, which was full of gravel, had lost control while heading toward Pacific Coast Highway on Kanan about 9:50 a.m., but did not use the emergency lane to try and stop. It slammed into the Mercedes as it was just crossing the light that had just turned green on Pacific Coast Highway and smashed it into an embankment.

Eyewitness Kirk Prouse of Oxnard, who was in a car behind the Mercedes, said, “It all happened so fast… then I saw an explosion … I would’ve been the next person.”

The driver of a sports utility vehicle, who was also heading east on PCH, suffered minor injuries to his ankle. The SUV driver was a Los Angeles County Fire Department engineer who had been working in the Malibu area during the fire. Today was his day off and he had been surfing and was headed home. As two sheriff’s deputies rescued the SUV driver from his vehicle, a man from a local waste management company who was driving behind the SUV, got out of his vehicle and extinguished the fire with an extinguisher he had in his truck.

Fire Capt. Bob Goldman of Station 70, who arrived at the scene and is a friend of the SUV driver, said of the waste management worker, “I am absolutely grateful to him, and to the deputies.”

It is believed the man would have died if they did not stop the fire and get him out of the vehicle. Authorities are not releasing the names of those involved in the accident until relatives have been notified.

There is a weight limit of 8,000 pounds for trucks on Kanan Dume Road, and truck trailers are not allowed on the road at all. It is not known if the truck exceeded the weight limit, but it did have a trailer. It is not known what company the truck belonged to, but authorities said it was from Glendale.

There have been many accidents of this type on Kanan Dume. Malibu resident Susan Tellem said a friend of hers died in such an accident.

“It is shameful, that this issue hasn’t been dealt with,” Tellem said. “I see trucks on Kanan Dume all the time, and officials need to be very aggressive about stopping this.”