EL CENTRO, Calif. - The California Highway Patrol arrested a man on suspicion of driving under the influence, after he allegedly hit a metal guardrail with the Freightliner he was driving and fled on foot.
CHP said the incident happened Monday at about 12:41 a.m. on southbound State Route 111 south of Keystone Road.
Officers said the driver, 50-year-old Tomas Almaguer of Santa Maria, Calif. was driving a Freightliner pulling an empty 53-foot box trailer when he drifted away from the roadway onto the right shoulder of State Route 111. CHP said that's when he collided with the metal guardrail, puncturing the right saddle tank. That released fuel onto the roadways and dirt shoulders.
CHP said Almaguer then made an unsafe turn, causing the truck tractor combination to cross back onto SR-111 and across the center median where the trailer detached from the truck.
The trailer then overturned, blocking one of the lanes. The truck continued onto the northbound lanes of SR-111, and then Almaguer allegedly drove into the center median where his tractor came to rest.
CHP said Almaguer fled the scene, but returned after a short search by officers.
Southbound SR-111 was ordered closed due to the fuel spill, overturned trailer and debris from the guardrail.
Almaguer was placed under arrest for DUI and he was later taken to Desert Regional for his injuries.