All lanes reopen following fatal Caltrans crash on SB 101 in San Jose

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Southbound U.S. Highway 101 reopened shortly before 8 p.m. on Monday, following an accident that claimed the life of a construction worker, according to California Highway Patrol. 

A man died when his truck collided with a Caltrans truck that was trailing a sweeper vehicle on Highway 101 in San Jose Monday earlier Monday morning, a CHP spokesman said.

The crash was reported shortly after 10:30 a.m. on southbound Highway 101 near the Brokaw Road off-ramp.

Late in the afternoon, a CHP Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team (MAIT) conducted its investigation into the fatal accident. Once complete, the Santa Clara County coroner will remove the victim’s remains, and investigate the cause of death. CHP officials say the deadly collision that littered the highway with debris occurred in the number-1 lane, or far left lane, next to the median on southbound Highway 101 in San Jose, near the North First Street exit ramp. A CalTrans sweeping crew – comprised of a sweeper truck in front, and trailing shadow truck – was removing garbage from the area of the median.

“The sole responsibility is ah be visible to drivers who are traveling on the main portion of the highway within the lanes, to notify  them to move over and slow down to protect those sweeping vehicles,” said Ross Lee, of the CHP San Jose field office. 

Investigators say the driver of a Ford construction pick-up truck traveling between 65-and-70 miles per hour crashed into the second of the two vehicles. The impact collapsed a protective barrier, approximately six feet by four feet, on the back of the trailing truck. The striking pick-up truck flipped and crashed partially onto the roadway, killing the driver. Officers say it appears the deceased driver never saw the sweeper crew before impact.

“Anytime we have any kind of construction or work that’s happening on the freeway, disabled vehicle, a tow truck on the center median, we always encourage drivers to move over and give an extra lane. What we have is, even at five miles per hour, the speed difference between a vehicle traveling 65-to-70 miles per hour and colliding with what’s relatively and essentially a stationary object results in damage and injury like we see here,” said Lee.

Southbound Highway 101 drivers have been diverted off that freeway at Highway-87, causing backed up traffic during the evening commute. The identity of the driver that was killed has not been released pending notification of this family and coworkers.