A big rig truck crash on northbound Highway 99 at Jack Tone Road in the predawn hours Wednesday shutdown the major arterial for most of the day causing motorists to be late for work among other things.
Traffic backed up into Modesto while frustrated motorists used their cell phones to call their families and business associates telling of the freeway hang-up that literally turned the freeway into a proverbial parking lot. Ripon officers were first on the scene controlling the incident as best they could until CHP units arrived.
One woman on her way to work in downtown Ripon from her home in Modesto said it took her over 90 minutes to drive the seven mile commute some four hours after the initial crash.
Several scheduled surgeries were affected at Manteca’s Doctors Hospital with patients coming from the Modesto area driving up the freeway thinking they were on time.
Caltrans workers were faced with a mess due to the cargo of barbecue sauce and liquid soap being dumped off of the flat bed trailer and breaking open on the asphalt roadway. Concerned that a forecast of an incoming storm toward the weekend caused a fear rain would worsen the hazard to the freeway motorists. Caltrans street sweepers were used to clean up the slippery mess, drivers reported.
Caltrans continued their efforts through mid-afternoon with one lane open and giving some relief to the northbound traffic. It was suspected that the truck driver had fallen asleep and crashed.