Driving under the influence ruled out in MacArthur
Maze interstate connector collapse
A section of eastbound Interstate Highway 80 to eastbound Interstate
Highway 580 collapsed this morning following a gas tanker explosion.
By Caitilin McAdoo, Ari Barak, Elizabeth Daley
April 29, 2007
California Highway Patrol investigators believe speed was a
factor in the crash of a gas tanker that exploded and caused a
portion of Oakland's MacArthur Maze to collapse
early this morning, but do not believe the driver was intoxicated,
CHP Officer Trenton Cross said.
Firefighters have arrrived on the scene and are battling the blaze
that melted a section of I-580 to I-80 interstate connector leading
to its collapse.
screenshot courtesy baconmonkey.
According to Cross, the driver, James Mosqueda, 51, of Woodland,
had just filled his tanker with about 8,600 gallons of gasoline
at a local refinery before the crash, reported at 3:42 a.m., on
the connector ramp from westbound Interstate Highway 80 to southbound
Interstate Highway 880.
According to Cross, Mosqueda had been driving for his trucking
company for only 10 months.
The tanker was apparently traveling too fast on the connector
ramp from westbound Interstate Highway 80 to southbound Interstate
Highway 880 when it lost control, struck a guardrail and overturned,
the explosion, which reached temperatures up to 2,000 degrees
Fahrenheit, rose and caused 250 yards of the connector ramp from
eastbound Interstate Highway 80 to eastbound Interstate Highway
580 to collapse, according to Cross.
Both ramps are closed indefinitely, according to Caltrans spokeswoman
The speed limit on the ramp is 50 mph, and evidence from skid
marks and damage to the guard rail indicates Mosqueda was speeding,
Cross said. Investigators have ruled out any kind of drug or alcohol
intoxication, he said.
Mosqueda walked away from the crash and took a taxi from a nearby
gas station to Kaiser hospital in Oakland, where he is being treated
for second-degree burns to his hands, arms and face, according
"He's lucky," Cross said. "He got out pretty quick.
Then there was an explosion." If the crash had happened 10
or 15 feet further along the roadway, the ramp might not have
collapsed, Cross added.
Assessment crews are
on scene now and will be evaluating the damage as soon as
fire and CHP officials confirm that it is safe, Wonder said.
It was not known how far along the roadway before and after the
collapse the damage extends, according to Wonder.
Caltrans highway engineers are headed to Oakland from Sacramento
to further assess the damage, Wonder said.
The collapsed ramp from eastbound Interstate Highway 80 to eastbound
Interstate Highway 580 will have to be demolished and then rebuilt,
"Unofficially, it's going to take months," Wonder said.
"This is major damage."
The connector from westbound Interstate Highway 80 to eastbound
Interstate Highway 580 is now open, but eastbound Interstate Highway
80 to eastbound Interstate Highway 580 remains closed, according
to the CHP.
Traffic continues to flow onto the bridge.
Travelers wishing to enter San Francisco from the East Bay may
take Interstate Highway 80, which remains open.
Travelers coming from San Francisco to Oakland or Hayward, as
well as those traveling from Berkeley to Oakland, on Monday, will
likely experience problems and should seek alternative routes
or public transportation, Cross said.
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