A truck driver from Berkeley died after driving into a stopped big rig on the middle of the Bay Bridge on Tuesday afternoon, setting off a series of events that included a woman giving birth by the toll plaza and backing up traffic to Berkeley, according to police.
A man driving a box truck from Diet to Go food services at 1:15 p.m. was heading westbound on the upper deck of the bridge when he hit the big rig, California Highway Patrol Officer Shawn Chase said.
The driver was traveling at least 40 to 50 mph when he hit the big rig just east of Yerba Buena Island. According to the CHP, the driver was trapped in hisvehicle for approximately 50 minutes before being pronounced dead at the scene.
The accident occurred in the far right lane and shut down all lanes but the far left lane for an hour after the accident, Chase said. The traffic was “horrendous,” and was backed up into the MacArthur Maze area and into Berkeley, he said.
As a result of the traffic jam, a woman pulled off the road to give birth a few hours after the accident. The mother-to-be was traveling toward San Francisco at 3:35 p.m. when she detoured into the toll plaza’s left administrative parking lot, Chase said.
The man in the big rig was unharmed and no other injuries were reported, he said. No other information on the victim was available Tuesday.
All lanes were reopened at 2:55 p.m., Chase said, in time for rush hour.
The collision badly damaged both vehicles, he said.
“The vehicles went flying,” he said. “There wasn’t much left of that box truck.”
Police do not suspect the driver was drunk when he collided with the big rig, he said.
Bay City News contributed to this report.