Truck tips on grade, again

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By MIKE MORRIS

Same driver, same truck, same road, different week.

In a near-repeat of the wreck he was in last week, Richard Adams, 25, of Burson, yesterday again walked away uninjured when the big-rig truck he was driving overturned on New Priest Grade about 2 p.m..

Last Monday, Adams said a car cut him off, causing his truck to overturn as it began its climb up the grade. Yesterday's accident happened at the top of the hill as Adams was driving the 1992 Peterbilt dump-end truck back to C&D Trucking of Valley Springs, the company he works for.

But Adams said surviving two accidents in about a week might cause him to leave the trucking industry.

"I don't really want to do it anymore," Adams said this morning from a San Joaquin County pay phone. "I know that accidents happen, but two in (a little over one) week is just a bit much."

California Highway Patrol Officer David Chesson said yesterday it was likely that Adams was going too fast as he made a downhill turn with a truck half full of rocks.

Adams said that wasn't the case. He guesses he was driving about 20 mph.

"I was going pretty much as slow as I could ... I wasn't driving crazy or nothing," Adams said. "I know I could get people hurt."

Adams was hauling rocks from Carson Hill in Calaveras County for the Priest Reservoir Pipeline Project under way at the top of the grade off Priest-Coulterville Road.

New water pipes are being installed at the bottom of Priest Reservoir as part of the Hetch Hetchy Water System which brings Tuolumne River water to San Francisco city and county.

Proven Management Inc. of San Francisco is the project general contractor.

Adams said while delivering the rock, Proven Management employees were yelling at him to leave because hydraulic oil from his truck was leaking onto the work site.

But he hadn't finished dumping the full load of rocks, which he was having trouble doing anyway because of the soft ground. So he headed down the hill and tipped shortly after leaving the site.

He said the rocks in the back of his truck were concentrated on the left side, and when the accident happened, the truck tipped to the left.

11515193
The Union Democrat
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