UPDATED: Thursday, May 28, 11:15 a.m. With Coroner’s release of information.
ANDERSON, Calif. — Officials have identified a big rig driver who was killed while outside his truck after crashing into a guardrail on the southbound Interstate 5 in Anderson early Monday morning, May 25.
The deadly accident, which happened near the Deschutes Rd. off ramp, caused traffic to back up several miles and area commuters later reported lengthy delays in their travel times while officials worked at the scene.
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CHP and other emergency personnel were dispatched to the area around 4 a.m., after receiving reports of a body in the roadway, according to a CHP incident log.
The 911 caller told emergency dispatchers he was a truck driver and that he had managed to get traffic stopped and that both lanes were blocked.
CHP Sgt. Annie Garcia photographs the scene where a truck driver was killed on I-5 near Deschutes Rd. Monday morning. KRCR News 7 photo
When officers arrived they found a man in the southbound lanes of the roadway with major traumatic injuries as a result of a collision. He was pronounced deceased at the scene by emergency personnel, officials later reported.
The victim has since been identified as 55-year-old Robert Edward Sturghill, of Fresno, California, Shasta County Chief Deputy Coroner Lt. Gunsauls reported this morning; saying, “The decedent’s next-of-kin has been notified and a postmortem examination has been scheduled.”
During their subsequent investigation, CHP determined the deadly accident happened after Sturghill crashed into a guardrail and had possibly exited his semi to check on damage when he was fatally struck.
“He exited the driver side of the semi truck and was in the lanes and at some point was struck,” CHP Sgt. Annie Garcia later said of the deadly accident.
At the time Garcia reported that it was unknown who hit the victim and that officers were still working on gathering details related to the accident.
Although traffic was lighter this Memorial Day weekend due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis, Garcia said that didn’t mean officers weren’t busy handling major injury and fatal accidents throughout the area.
“Unfortunately with lighter traffic, speeds are up so we just ask people to slow it down a little because things like this happen and when you’re at fast speeds you can’t negotiate a person in the roadway,” added Garcia.
CHP’s investigation is ongoing and anyone with information regarding the crash or who witnessed the deadly accident is encouraged to contact CHP’s Redding Area Station at (530) 225-0500. Callers can refer to incident file number 2020-0332 and can remain anonymous.
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Trevor Montgomery, 48, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.
Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)
During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.
Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.
Trevor has been married for more than 29 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 16 grandchildren.