A 34-year-old Sonora woman died when the driver’s side of her 1996 Honda Civic was hit by a logging truck early Wednesday morning on Highway 108 in Sonora.

The name of the victim had not been released as of 1 p.m. Wednesday pending notification to her family.
California Highway Patrol Public Information Officer Faustino Pulido said a preliminary determination on the cause of the accident was that the Honda Civic attempted a U-turn in the eastbound lane and was struck by the logging truck that was driving directly behind it.

The logging truck was equipped with a recording camera which faced out toward the road and the camera was taken into evidence, he said. Pulido said the footage had not been viewed by the CHP at this time and was going to be sent to the California Department of Justice computer forensics laboratory to be analyzed.

At about 7:05 a.m., the woman was approaching the turn-off for Stockton Road. Behind the Honda Civic, Tyler Hughes, 25, of Wallace, was driving a 2017 Peterbilt logging truck, pulling a logging dolly fully loaded with logs.

Just past the onramp for Stockton Road, the woman drove onto the right shoulder of Highway 108 and started to make what appeared to be a U-turn.

The collision likely was “immediate,” Pulido said.

Pulido said Hughes was able to give the CHP a statement.

Pulido said he could not speculate as to whether the woman was distracted or asleep at the time of the accident. Witnesses at the scene told the CHP she may have been performing a U-turn, he said. Pulido said he did not know how fast the cars were driving.

The woman had on a seatbelt as did Hughes, who was not injured.

Alcohol and drugs are not expected to be a factor in the collision.

The CHP would likely use the truck video to confirm what Hughes told investigating officers, Pulido said.
“Hopefully it will give us video of the traffic collision that will substantiate Hughes’ statement,” he said.

Detours and one-way traffic controls were set up intermittently and the incident took about three hours to clean up, Pulido said.

Contact Giuseppe Ricapito at (209) 588-4526 or gricapito@uniondemocrat.com. Follow him on Twitter @gsepinsonora.