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Truck Driver Killed, 4 Hurt on Freeway

May 05, 1997

SANTA ANA — A 59-year-old Montclair man died and four other people were injured Sunday when a big rig flipped on the Santa Ana Freeway, apparently after an unidentified driver cut the truck off, authorities said.

Investigators asked the public for help in piecing together events that led to the 12:10 p.m. crash in the southbound lanes near the Garden Grove Freeway interchange.

The Montclair man, whose name was withheld pending notification of next of kin, was driving the big rig in the slow lane when a small blue car cut him off, witnesses told the California Highway Patrol.

The truck veered, lost control and struck a white Cadillac, injuring all four occupants, according to CHP Officer Angel Johnson.

The victims were taken to nearby hospitals but none of their injuries initially appeared life-threatening, Johnson said.

After hitting the Cadillac, the truck rammed the right-side guardrail and flipped, pinning the driver inside and leaving him with fatal injuries, Johnson said.

The wreckage blocked the slow lane on the busy stretch of freeway for most of the afternoon.

The car suspected of causing the crash was described by witnesses as a blue compact, possibly a Geo, Johnson said. Anyone with information about the accident is asked to call CHP Officer Paul Wester at (714) 567-6000.

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