One man is dead and traffic was backed up for hours on Highway 12 following a fatal collision between a big-rig and an SUV on Wednesday morning.
At approximately 11:15 p.m., California Highway Patrol officers were called to Highway 12 near North Peatland Road west of Lodi, where a freightliner had collided with a 1989 Chevrolet Blazer, according to CHP Officer Angel Arceo.
The freightliner was headed west on Highway 12, Arceo said, and for some unknown reason, the driver of the Blazer, who was headed east, allowed his vehicle to drift over the center divide, colliding with the freightliner head-on.
The driver of the Blazer, 38-year-old Jeffrey Herbert of Stockton, was declared dead at the scene, Arceo added.
Following the collision, both the freightliner and the SUV caught on fire, and the fires were put out by Woodbridge firefighters.
Paramedics took the driver of the big-rig to Lodi Memorial Hospital for treatment, though he apparently only suffered minor injuries, Arceo said.
Highway 12 was closed from Highway 160 to Interstate 5 for about two hours while CHP and deputies from the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office further investigated the scene.
At approximately 1:17 p.m., CHP officers gave the OK to open to road again.
Traffic, however, remained clogged at both ends of the Highway for some time.
Highway 12 is known to be a source of fatal accidents, the most recent being less than a year ago.
On Sept. 18, 2011, Phyllis Lawyer, a Modesto woman, was killed when the 2000 Kia Sportage she was riding in was hit head-on west of Tower Park Marina.
Contact reporter Katie Nelson at email@example.com.