Driver killed in Highway 70 crash identified

Feather Publishing


This trailer, partially consumed, is all that is left from the horrific accident and fire that left the driver dead and a portion of Highway 70 melted in the early morning hours of Tuesday morning, Oct 29. Photo By Will Farris

The big rig driver killed in a fiery crash in the Feather River Canyon on Oct. 29 was identified by the CHP as Franklin Cecil Jarvis, 58, of Chico.

According to the California Highway Patrol, Jarvis worked for Chico Produce out of Durham.

The CHP reported the cause of the accident is still under investigation.


UPDATED 12:15 p.m.
Highway 70 in the Feather River Canyon has now reopened to all traffic following a fatal big rig accident. 
Original report at 5:30 am

Highway 70 was closed due to damage to the roadway from a vehicle fire .2 miles west of Chambers Creek Bridge, 1.5 miles east of Tobin in the Feather River Canyon. According to dispatch at the California Highway Patrol in Susanville, a big rig was involved in an accident sometime before 3:30 a.m., Tuesday, resulting in a fatality.

According to a CHP news release, "The front of a 2003 Freightliner Tractor Trailer Combination eastbound on SR-70 struck a large rock that was blocking, and on top, of the solid yellow lines. Driver lost control of the Freightliner and allowed it to strike a rock wall north of the north roadway edge of SR-70. The tractor and trailer jackknifed and ruptured a fuel tank. Both the tractor and trailer became fully engulfed in flames. The driver was unable to exit the vehicle and was pronounced deceased at the scene. The collision is still under investigation."

Highway 70 was closed from the Greenville Wye in Plumas County to Big Bend Road in Butte County.

Caltrans official response states, "The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) District 2 crews are on the scene of a fatal accident that has closed Highway 70 in both directions. The fire resulted in damage to the road which is now being repaired. There is no estimated time of reopening. Caltrans would like to remind motorists that the full closure on State Route 32 has been lifted and they are being encouraged to use it as a detour if necessary."

The message on the Highway Information System read: "SR 70 is closed eastbound at Big Bend Road (BUT 70 PM34.0) and westbound at the Greenville Wye (PLU 70 PM33.02) - due to a big rig fire - a detour is not available - motorists are advised to use an alternate route."

Editors note: Highway 70 in the Feather River Canyon has now reopened 

Quincy Fire Department, California Highway Patrol, Plumas County Sheriff's Office, Caltrans, PG&E and USFS are some of the agencies that reponded to the scene.

We will update this article as we receive further information.

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