RIALTO (CBS) — The 10 Freeway reopened this morning after a deadly and fiery crash in Rialto Friday took the lives of five people.
The crash occurred about 1 p.m. near Riverside Avenue.
CBS2’s Laurie Perez spoke to the family of one victim, 74-year-old Duddley White, a 29 Palms resident.
“He bought some fish, some fish to bring home. And he never made it. never make it again,” said LaTrail Smith, White’s son.
White’s wife and children are in shock and disbelief — that a trip to the grocery store took their beloved “Tapo,” as the grandchildren called him.
His daughter, Maylette Brown, says when they saw news of a serious pile-up in Rialto on TV and could not reach White for hours, at 10:30 last night, the coroner confirmed their fears.
“Last night at about 8:30 I tried to call him and it went straight to voicemail and I knew,” Brown said.
White was one of five motorists confirmed dead after CHP says a large concrete pumper truck traveling West through Rialto crashed through a metal guardrail into on-coming traffic, hitting four vehicles and a motorcycle.
Javier Mendoza was working nearby and took video of what he says was an immediate fireball — taken seconds after impact — before even police had arrived,
“It’s a bad feeling cause knowing that it’s just within a couple feet from you and within a second all this happened and nothing you can do about it honestly,” said witness Javier Mendoza.
White’s family says he was a retired mechanic, a man of faith, and ever a doting dad and granddad. For him to die this way seems especially cruel.
“He was so worried about us, especially me. When I drive up, here [he would say] be careful driving, watch your surroundings, don’t speed,” said Yvette Brown, White’s stepdaughter.
The driver of the concrete truck survived and, no doubt, authorities will have a lot of questions for him about what happened.