CAJON PASS (CBSLA.com) — A driver says he’s lucky to be alive after his car became wedged under a truck and was dragged four miles up the Cajon Pass.
Cellphone video captured the unbelievable sight of a maroon Nissan Maxima clearly stuck under a truck hauling 50,000 pounds of carrots that continued driving up the remote canyon pass Wednesday at about 3:21 p.m. The driver in the sedan can be seen waving his hands for help behind a shattered windshield and crushed hood.
A California Highway Patrol statement said the truck was driving 30 mph northbound on Interstate 5, north of State Route 138, in the truck lane when it began to move into the left lane. The Maxima, while trying to pass into the left lane also, collided with the truck and became lodged, according to the CHP.
Witnesses said they thought the car had been dragged for miles, but CHP officials said the Maxima had been dragged for “approximately .7 of a mile.”
Brian Steimke posted the Facebook video, in which you can hear him saying in disbelief, “Look at that. Oh my God.”
Other drivers honked to get the truck driver’s attention, and one finally got in front to stop the truck.
Steimke approaches the truck driver, identified later by the California Highway Patrol as 62-year-old Pete Edward Maestas of Bakersfield, and asks him why he was driving so far.
“Dude, the guy was underneath your car!” Steimke is heard saying.
When the Maestas says he didn’t know that, Steimke says “What do you mean you didn’t know it, dude! He’s on your truck!”
The driver of the sedan, identified as 34-year-old Javier A. Diaz Jr. of Oak Hills, he is just a bit sore from the collision and is simply happy to be home with his family.
CBS2/KCAL9 spoke to Jerrone Thomas who also took video of the bizarre incident as he drove home on the Cajon Pass Wednesday. Thomas said it appeared the truck driver has no idea there was a problem.
“He’s dragging him for the better part of a mike, he’s just unaware,” he said, “I don’t know.”
Finally, Thomas decided to brake in front of the truck to get him to stop.
“I got in front of the truck and thought, here goes nothing and stopped the guy,” he says.
According to the CHP, this crash is not considered a criminal incident. Officers on the scene did not detect any signs of impairment on the truck driver, and said the driver’s log book appeared to be in compliance.
The CHP did tell CBS2’s Tina Patel that the truck driver might still be cited for improperly changing lanes and causing the collision.
Neither driver requested medical care, CHP officials said.