Caltrans says 'blame the driver' after truck overturns in Northern California

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By now you may have clicked on this viral video. Had the driver been killed or injured, it might have qualified him for the Darwin Awards. That is his oversized semi-truck failing to make a turn on Route 175, east of Hopland, on Thursday. (Caltrans District 1/Facebook)

An oversized semi-truck failed to make a turn on Route 175, east of Hopland, in Northern California on Thursday, and the video has gone viral.

The California Highway Patrol said they cited driver, Christopher Cortez of Lodi, for ignoring the many warning signs on the restricted roadway.

"He stated that he saw a few of them," CHP Sgt. Robert Powers said. "He said he would try to work his luck and see what he could do with it."

His answer still lies on its side, 100 feet down the ravine, and forced a one-day closure to retrieve it. A construction crew recorded the video. They said they warned the driver, but he continued. Caltrans knows the drill.

"The tractors take a different line than the trailers," said Jim Shupe, with Caltrans. "His trailer got in the berm and the trailer pulled him over."

Had this been a one-time event, it might be easier to dismiss, but locals who saw the video know better.

"I saw it yesterday. Said, 'There goes another one,'" one woman said while in her car.

There was a similar, less severe incident on Oct. 2, and last January, a wine truck carrying hundreds of bottles failed to make the turn, closing the same Hopland Grade for two days.

Despite road construction that has narrowed the two-lane road to one at the difficult turn, Caltrans and the CHP said Route 175 would still be restricted.

So truckers beware.
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