SHAWNEE, OK – A California man driving a tractor-trailer rig along eastbound Interstate 40 died Thursday afternoon near Shawnee when the semi left the roadway and struck some trees.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said the crash occurred about 1:37 p.m. just east of mile marker 182 in Pottawatomie County.
According to a report in the Shawnee News-Star, the 2016 Kenworth tractor-trailer, driven by 51-year old Jesus Sida Lucero of San Bernardino was eastbound, when, for unknown reasons, the semi departed the roadway and struck a tree. After that, the semi continued traveling through a fence and then struck a second tree.
Lucero suffered a head injury and was pronounced dead at the scene by the state medical examiner, the patrol said. He had no passengers. The cause of the collision and the driver’s condition at the time of the crash are under investigation. Seat belts were in use.
The afternoon crash resulted in eastbound I-40 narrowing to one lane near US-177 all afternoon, with the lanes reopening about 7:30 p.m., although crews were doing additional work throughout the evening to clear debris and wreckage from the scene.
OHP Capt. Paul Timmons did confirm that narcotics were found at the accident scene, but no other details were being released.
Several state troopers worked the accident, along with the Shawnee Fire Department, REACT EMS and the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.