A blowout on a big rig traveling on Interstate 215 in Menifee Monday caused a smaller vehicle to swerve out of control and overturn on the freeway, killing an occupant.
The fatal crash occurred at 5:55 a.m. on southbound I-215, just north of McCall Boulevard, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Officer Mike Lassig said a 2002 Mack truck with a trailer was going roughly 55 mph in the No. 2 lane when one of the semi’s left tires blew, causing the driver, identified only as a 45-year-old San Jacinto man, to briefly lose control.
“The truck began to enter the No. 1 lane,” Lassig said.
He said a 2002 Toyota T-100 pickup was in the fast lane, and the driver, whose identity was not released, noticed the tractor-trailer veering toward him, prompting the motorist to take “evasive action,” steering toward the center median, at which point he lost control of the pickup.
“The vehicle rolled over and came to rest in the No. 3 lane of southbound I-215,” the CHP spokesman said.
The pickup’s passenger, identified only as a 22-year-old Riverside man, suffered grave injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics minutes later.
The pickup driver suffered minor injuries and was taken to Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar for treatment.
The trucker wasn’t injured.
CHP officers partially closed the freeway for three hours while a preliminary investigation was conducted and the wreckage was cleared.