SALINAS, Calif. - There are a lot of trucks on the roads this time of year as agriculture operations move to southern California and western Arizona. In fact, the California Highway Patrol said it’s seeing a small uptick in crashes involving ag-related equipment.
CHP said it has investigated 16 crashes involving ag-related equipment so far this year, and one of them was deadly. This is up from last year, when there were 13 ag-related crashes for the entire year. One of those crashes led to the death of Jorge Solorio, who was killed when he was struck by a tractor and pinned between it and a harvester near south Davis and west Blanco roads.
CHP said a lot of the crashes happen on county roads, for example Highway 183 between Salinas and Castroville. In fact, an accident happened there this week, but fortunately no major injuries were sustained.
"It is getting darker sooner, so a lot of this equipment doesn't have lighting, so when you're driving down the county roads, when they pull out, you're not going to have as much time to see them and react to them,” said CHP officer, Oscar Loza.
CHP said a lot of the equipment doesn't have restrictions, so it can be really wide and drivers just need to be aware.
While they may not have lighting, they do have the reflective triangles which should signal to others it's a slow moving vehicle.
"We try and minimize as much as we can those hours that the equipment is on the roads and hopefully not during peak hours but sometimes that is something that happens so we need to make sure that the public knows this equipment is out there and that they need to be aware when they're driving on the highway,” said Executive Director of Monterey County Farm Bureau, Norm Groot.