Alex Larson was sitting behind the cash register at The Garlic
Shoppe, on the junction of highways 25 and 101, when he heard the
deep sound of a truck downshifting and screamed at his eight
customers to move back. Then he heard a boom and the lights went
Alex Larson was sitting behind the cash register at The Garlic Shoppe, on the junction of highways 25 and 101, when he heard the deep sound of a truck downshifting and screamed at his eight customers to move back.
Then he heard a boom and the lights went out.
A few feet from his shop, a white semi truck with its trailer was tilted on its side, propped against a power pole with high-tension power lines sprawled all over Highway 101.
When Larson reached the truck, his neighbor Jess Cisneros was already kicking the door of the truck to try to get driver Jaime Jasso, of King City, out of crate-carrying truck.
Thanks to Cisneros and Larson, who joined the rescue effort, Jasso was soon standing on Highway 25 talking on the phone.
“He was out in the middle of the road, dazed. You could tell he was kind of upset.” Larson said.
The truck overturned at 4:14 p.m. Wednesday, said Jaime Rios, California Highway Patrol spokesman.
CHP closed off northbound Highway 101 at the Highway 25 exit with the off ramp also being closed.
The fallen power lines caused a small brush fire south of the truck, Rios said. Larson and Cisneros dug out a rake and some tools Larson had in the shop and put out the fire before the wind had a chance to spread the fire to the hillside east of Highway 101, Rios said.
“The cops were saying, ‘stay away from the fire,’ and we told them, ‘we know the power lines started the fire, we’re just putting it out,” Larson said. “We put it out before the fire trucks came.”
CHP asked PG&E to turn the power off in the area surrounding the crash so CHP and CalFire could remove the debris. Joe Matorrano, PG&E supervisor for the San Jose district that includes Gilroy, said all power in the area surrounding the crash was probably back on at 5 a.m. Thursday, but does not have any more details. Larson said his shop had electricity by 5 a.m.
The power went out at Gavilan College as a result of the wreck, delaying a women’s volleyball game against Cabrillo College. Power went back on at 6:30 p.m. with the No. 24 Rams losing in three sets.
Jasso was driving the vehicle westbound on Highway 25, merging into Highway 101 when the vehicle overturned and spilled the crates onto Highway 101, according to a CHP press release. While the cause of the crash has not been determined, Rios said alcohol was not involved and Jasso did not require hospitalization.
Due to the accident, traffic on westbound Highway 25 was diverted onto Bloomfield Avenue, while one northbound lane was opened on Highway 101 after debris was moved from the road.
Rios said traffic on Highway 101 was backed up until Highway 129, making it difficult for CHP to remove the power lines from the road.