Authorities say 'blame the driver' after truck overturns on nasty highway turn in California despite warning signs

MENDOCINO COUNTY, California -- A video went viral of an over-sized semi-truck sliding down an embankment in California, and miraculously, the driver was not injured.

It happened on Thursday in Mendocino County, just north of San Francisco.

California Highway Patrol said they cited the driver, Christopher Cortez, for ignoring the many warning signs on the restricted roadway.

"He stated that he saw a few of them," according to CHP Sgt. Robert Powers. "He said he would try to work his luck and see what he could do with it."

The truck came to rest 100 feet down the ravine, and requires a closure of the road for at least one day to retrieve it. The construction crew who recorded the video said they warned the driver, but he continued.

"The tractors take a different line than the trailers," said Jim Shupe with Caltrans. "His trailer got in the berm and the trailer pulled him over."

Locals have seen similar incidents happen several times.

There was a similar, less severe incident on Oct. 2. Last January, a wine truck carrying hundreds of bottles failed to make the turn. It resulted in closing the same state highway for two days.

Despite road construction that has narrowed the two-lane road to one at the difficult turn, officials said it would still be restricted.

Powers was asked if a similar incident would happen again.

He answered, "One hundred percent. We could put a sign and a video of the truck on the loop, and it would happen again."
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