Hundreds of Styrofoam cartons and large purple grapes littered the intersection at Road 192 and Avenue 176 west of Porterville Friday following a collision of a semi truck pulling a double trailer and a large truck hauling grapes. It resulted in one driver being airlifted to the hospital.
The incident occurred when a Barcellos Farms truck from Tipton, traveling north on Road 192, was turning left onto Avenue 176 and was rear-ended by the driver of J.A.P. International Trucking of Delano who was hauling grapes -- leaving the cab of his truck looking like an accordion.
"It appears the big rig, hauling an unknown load in two trailers was northbound when the gray truck, for unknown reasons, collided with the rear of the big rig," said California Highway Patrol Officer Shane Higgins. "The driver from the gray truck was conscious. The driver of the big rig is uninjured."
The call was received by Tulare County Fire Department at 12:05 p.m., said Battalion Chief Jeff McLaughlin.
"We dispatched a full response of two engines and a battalion chief and upon arrival, asked for two additional engines and a rescue vehicle with equipment for extrication," McLaughlin said.
More than a dozen firemen worked on extricating the driver, who originally appeared to be in serious condition.
"We used the Jaws of Life apparatus -- cutters, spreaders and rams -- to remove the vehicle from the patient," McLaughlin said.
CHP Sgt. Joe Vega said he was told the injuries appeared to be minor to moderate.
"He had some face cuts but didn't appear to have any broken bones," Vega said. "It doesn't appear to be life threatening."
SkyLife transported the driver, who was not identified, to a hospital.
The manager of J.A.P. International Trucking LLC in Delano was not available for comment.
The collision is under the investigation of the California Highway Patrol.
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