That Nasty Big Turn on Route 175: Caltrans and CHP says 'blame the driver' after truck overturns in Mendocino County

MENDOCINO COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- By now you may have clicked on this viral video. Had the driver been killed or injured, it might have qualified him for the Darwin Awards. That is his oversized semi-truck failing to make a turn on Route 175, east of Hopland on Thursday.

The California Highway Patrol tells us they cited driver, Christopher Cortez of Lodi, for ignoring the many warning signs on this 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."

His answer still lies on its side, 100 feet down the ravine, and will force a future closure of at least one day to retrieve it. A construction crew recorded the video. They say they warned the driver, but he continued. Caltrans knows the drill.

"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."

Had this been a one-time event, it might be easier to dismiss. Locals who saw the video today know better.

"I saw it yesterday. Said, 'There goes another one,'" said one woman in her car.

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

Despite road construction that has narrowed this two-lane road to one at the difficult turn, Caltrans and the CHP say Route 175 would still be restricted.

"Will you see this again?" we asked Powers.

He answered, "100 percent. We could put a sign and a video of the truck on the loop, and it would happen again."

Truckers beware.
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