SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY (CBS13) — Authorities say a man suspected of recklessly driving a tractor-trailer, leading officers on a chase, then crashing on Interstate 5 has been arrested.
California Highway Patrol says the chase started around noon near Stockton but was called off once it reached the Los Banos area. A CHP aircraft then started tracking the tractor-trailer, which was still driving recklessly.
The tractor-trailer then overturned along southbound I-5 near Derrick Avenue after crashing into at least three other smaller vehicles.
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Officers say the tractor-trailer driver then got out of his wreck and – as traffic started to back up due to the crash – he allegedly tried to carjack other people. CHP officers soon converged on the scene, however, and the driver was arrested after a short struggle.
All the other people involved in the crash suffered minor injuries, CHP says.
The tractor-trailer driver has been identified as 26-year-old Alabama resident Derris Marquis Kennedy. He was booked into Fresno County Jail after being medically cleared.
Kennedy is facing numerous charges, including carjacking, reckless driving causing injury, hit-and-run, resisting arrest, and battery on a peace officer.
Mont’e Rushing captured what he saw on I-5 in Stockton.
“All you literally see is this big cloud of smoke just coming and as I’m on the freeway. I turn around and I’m like is that a big rig?” Rushing said.
He saw a big rig going recklessly fast, at times sideswiping cars on the freeway, leading CHP on a chase all the way to Los Banos.
“He literally just plows into like three or four vehicles as he is getting back on,” Rushing said.
Scanner audio describes the driver waving his hands and at one point sticking his leg out the window.
“He should have pulled over. I don’t care if it is a big rig or not,” one woman said.
Rushing said he can’t believe the truck driver was so daring and reckless.
“I don’t understand how you actually think you are going to get away and you have CHP on you,” he said.
It’s still unclear if Kennedy was the licensed driver of the truck or what company that truck belongs to.