Los Gatos Observer
By Alastair Dallas 07/22/07 7:49 am
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A water truck rolled off a mountain road Saturday morning, killing the driver. Both Los Gatos/Monte Sereno Police and California Highway Patrol responded to the first call, received at 10:42 a.m. The site of the accident, 17541 Santa Cruz Hwy, was on a private road hundreds of feet above Hwy. 17, just south of The Cats restaurant.
The driver was unofficially identified as Ivan Ramirez, aged 26. He was prounced dead by AMR paramedics at 11:06 a.m.
The heavy water truck rolled off the steep dirt road to the right
The truck, a Hertz rental Ford F-750, held 2,000 gallons of non-potable water weighing 16,680 pounds. The truck wsa probably rented from Valew, a construction equipment company in Adelanto, near Palmdale, CA. Apparently, the water shifted on the last turn, rolling the truck off the dirt road onto a freshly-graded ledge some 10 feet below. The truck landed on its roof, sending its water down the hill as a river of mud that hindered access to the site. It is also possible that the driver was attempting to turn around on the dead-end road.
The CHP has jurisdiction over the accident, and used the parking lot at The Cats as a staging area for the medical examiner. Officers and a woman from the coroner's office interviewed five men in jeans and baseball caps as people, likely stunned relatives and friends, continued to arrive. One man clutched a county brochure titled, "What To Do Now."
Contrary to media reports, traffic on Hwy. 17 was not affected by the accident
An unidentified woman from the Coroner's office interviews men outside The Cats restaurant
The truck is a Ford F-750 with a 2,000-gallon tank