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Big rig crash near Atwater closes down part of Highway 99

Big rig hauling apple juice collides with pole on State Route 99 in Merced County

Crews work to clear the scene of a big rig crash on northbound State Route 99 in Merced County on Thursday, May 16, 2019. According to authorities, no injuries were reported.
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Crews work to clear the scene of a big rig crash on northbound State Route 99 in Merced County on Thursday, May 16, 2019. According to authorities, no injuries were reported.

A northbound lane of Highway 99 in Merced County was closed for several hours Thursday as crews worked to recover a big rig following a morning collision.

At approximately 3:35 a.m. Thursday, California Highway Patrol officers responded to reports of a big rig that collided with a pole in the area of northbound Highway 99, south of Westside Boulevard.

Authorities said driver, Ravinder Paul Thapar, 58, of Fresno, was driving a 2013 Kenworth semi truck hauling 65,000 pounds of apple juice when the truck drifted off onto the right shoulder.

Authorities said the truck and trailer combo then collided with the guardrail and sign on the east shoulder of the highway.

No injuries were reported.

Thursday’s crash is not far from the scene of a deadly bus crash in 2016 the claimed the lives of four people on Highway 99.

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