Hwy 84 reopens more than 17 hours after fatal big-rig crash

LIVERMORE, Calif. (KTVU and wires) -- State Highway 84 in Livermore reopened more than 17 hours after a big-rig crash that killed one man and injured three other people earlier Wednesday, according to police.

The roadway opened at 10:15 p.m. after crews were able to upright the big-rig and tow it away. The truck flipped onto its side and the trailer split open, spilling its load of bottled water, police spokeswoman Officer Traci Rebiejo said.

All the bottled water needed to be unloaded before the truck can be moved, Rebiejo said.

The crash was reported at 4:46 a.m. between Vineyard Avenue and Vallecitos Road when the big-rig driver crashed into the three cars from behind, according to police Sgt. Steve Goard.

"Early indications are that traffic was slowing, and it kind of came up on him fast and he wasn't able to slow in time," Goard said.

A man in one of the cars was pronounced dead at the scene, while the big-rig driver and two other people were taken to the hospital as a precaution because of complaints of pain, Goard said.

The big-rig is owned by Gardner Trucking, Inc., a company based out of Chino and Ontario.

Records from the Federal Motor Carrier Association show it operates more than 1,800 vehicles with about that many drivers. In nearly 5,000 inspections, the company had 162 violations with none listed as 'serious'. 

KTVU asked the California Highway Patrol for some perspective on those numbers. CHP spokesman Daniel Hill said there "did not appear to be a pattern of violations" and nothing on the surface seemed concerning.