One driver died and another was seriously injured early Wednesday in a crash that involved two Foster Farms trucks on northbound Highway 41 south of Fresno, the California Highway Patrol reported.
The highway's northbound lanes were closed for several hours as emergency workers picked up debris and birds thrown to the roadway from the Foster Farms trucks.
The chain-reaction crash began about 3 a.m. in heavy fog north of Central Avenue when a Foster Farms big rig driver from Livingston stopped on the side of the highway and got out of the cab for an undisclosed reason, the CHP said.
Moments later, an unloaded fuel tanker driven by Brandon Russell, 33, of Visalia slammed into the first truck, pinning the Foster Farms driver under the wreckage for about 40 minutes. He sustained major injuries and was later pronounced dead at Community Regional Medical Center, the CHP said. He was later identified as Antonio Cervantes, 37, of Livingston.
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A short time later, a pickup truck driven by Mario Moreno, 47, of Riverdale crashed into the wreckage. Then a second Foster Farms truck carrying chickens and driven by Hoscar Rodriguez, 51, of Fresno crashed into the first three vehicles.
Russell sustained major, non-life-threatening injuries. Moreno sustained minor injuries. Both were taken to CRMC.
The CHP said another Foster Farms truck was coming from Turlock to collect the chickens.