Debris on Hwy 99 creates dangerous hazard for drivers

Debris in the roadway is a common hazard drivers must always be watching out for, but what happened on Highway 99 in Chico Thursday night was definitely unusual and downright dangerous.

Posted: Feb 15, 2018 11:17 PM

Chico, Calif. -- Debris in the roadway is a common hazard drivers must always be watching out for, but what happened on Highway 99 in Chico Thursday night was definitely unusual and downright dangerous.

Several huge items in the middle of the freeway did indeed result in a car crash that could have been much worse.

All because of an apparent act of carelessness, a refrigerator, a stove and dolly were lying in the middle of the northbound lanes of 99.

"It appears at 6:50 this evening an unknown type of vehicle deposited a refrigerator and a stove onto the roadway and a dolly as well," said Geoff Dey, an officer with the California Highway Patrol.

With vehicles zooming along at freeway speeds, it would seem inevitable that something bad would happen, and it did.

"The black Nissan Sentra, which has since left the scene, came along northbound and saw the refrigerator and stove laying in the roadway and slowed down," said Dey. 

A Toyota Camry was driving right behind.

"He also hit his breaks, but was unable to stop in time before he ran into the Nissan," said Dey.

There were no serious injuries, but the Toyota Camry driver was taken to the hospital.

The bigger concern is, how did such massive objects end up lying in the middle of the freeway, in the dark, with unsuspecting drivers racing toward them?

"Well we haven't been able to find any sort of business name or any sort of markings on the dolly stove or refrigerator," said Dey.

Investigators are hoping the owner of these items will come forward.

"I would certainly encourage them to do that because it's through them not securing their load properly that two people have quite a bit of damage to their vehicles," said Dey.

And again, it could have been so much worse, perhaps even deadly.

The CHP said the driver who left these items might get cited, but more importantly, the CHP wants to hear how this happened.

If you have any information on the items left on Highway 99, you are asked to contact the CHP right away. You can call (530) 332-2800

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