BARSTOW • A man suffered minor injuries when the van he was driving crashed into a Caltrans dump truck near Lenwood on Thursday, Barstow California Highway Patrol Officer Adam Croxton said.
CHP received the incident call at 1:20 p.m.
The man and his wife, who was in the passenger seat, were traveling in a white Chrysler Town and Country on northbound Interstate 15, just north of Hodge Road.
For reasons unknown, the van struck the back of the Caltrans vehicle, which was traveling in the left shoulder next to the center divider and slower than other traffic, Croxton said.
The man likely swerved at the last minute toward the right, avoiding potentially more serious injury. The van didn't hit the rear directly and sustained almost all damage to its driver side — from the side mirror all the way to the rear, Croxton said.
On scene, there was visible moderate damage to the driver side and the rear bumper was knocked completely off.
CHP, Desert Ambulance and the Barstow Fire Protection District responded to the scene.
The man was transported to Barstow Community Hospital for treatment of cuts, scrapes and bruises, Croxton said.
His wife and the driver of the Caltrans vehicle were not injured.
The incident brought to mind the Move Over law in California for Croxton.
"The law states that when motorists see an emergency vehicle, classified as anything with rear amber lights on, they have to slow down or move over to that next lane if it's available," he explained.
The law is a joint safety effort between Caltrans, CHP, Department of Motor Vehicles and the California Office of Traffic Safety.
It took effect in 2007 and was amended in 2009 to include Caltrans vehicles to the list of emergency vehicles motorists must account for.
CHP is investigating the incident.
Shea Johnson may be reached at (760) 256-4126 or at SJohnson@DesertDispatch.com.