By Sean Bennett

OROVILLE (CBS13) – Highway 99 in the Oroville area has been closed all day Friday since an overnight crash involving a big rig hauling onions.

Lanes on the highway at Nelson Avenue north of Gridley have been closed since the big rig jackknifed and brought down power lines onto the highway after crashing into a power pole just before midnight. The truck ended up on its side in a ditch off the roadway.

Caltrans revised its estimate of reopening the roadway several times Friday as PG&E continued working to replace a sheared power pole. The latest target time is 6 p.m.

A big rig lies in a ditch off Highway 99 in Butte County on Friday, Jan. 4, 2013. (credit: CBS13)

A big rig lies in a ditch off Highway 99 in Butte County on Friday, Jan. 4, 2013. (credit: CBS13)

big rig

No one was injured in the crash, but the closure added about 25 minutes to commuters driving through the area. A large section of the guardrail was destroyed when the truck smashed through it.

It’s suspected the driver may have fallen asleep at the wheel. Skid marks show the truck veering from the south to northbound lanes before the big rig left the highway.

A detour was put in place for both north and southbound traffic. Northbound drivers were routed to eastbound Highway 162 to northbound 70 and get back on Highway 99 from there.

Southbound drivers were directed to take southbound 149 to southbound 70 before getting back to Highway 99.


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