Big rig flips over on busy road, shutdown for about 3hrs


EUREKA, Ca. (KIEM) – Fifth Street near Broadway Street is now re-opened after a semi-truck flipped over on its side, blocking the street to northbound traffic for nearly three hours.

“It was intense, it was kind of like an earthquake, all the windows shook and one of the officers said he heard it from like 5 blocks away,” said Danny Roscoe.  

Roscoe is a car salesman at Roy’s Auto Center and has a a clear view of Fifth and Broadway Streets where he watched the accident unfold.

“I saw the truck coming not particularly fast,  it looked like he was-misjudged the turn just a little bit, and then I heard his tires squeal a little bit as he tried to straighten out.

“Then that when his truck just flipped and hit sideways. That is when I heard a big bang that sounded like a bomb going off,” said Roscoe.  

At about 11:30 Wednesday morning, Humboldt Bay Fire was dispatched to Fifth Street near Broadway for an extraction.

As first responders arrived on the scene, bystanders had jumped into action to help the truck driver out of the cabin of the truck.

According to witnesses, the windshield had to be kicked in to safely assist the man out.

The single-vehicle accident caused Fifth at Broadway to shut down for about three hours.

Vyacheslav Velichko didn’t want to speak on camera but did say he was transporting 44,000 pounds of coco peat which is similar to peat moss, both help with aeration and water in a garden or flower bed.

The landscaping material was picked up in San Leandro, which is about five hours south of Eureka, and was destined for Blue Lake.

According to witnesses on the scene, it appeared the load may have shifted causing the big rigg to flip-over.

Velichko had apparent bruises and scrapes and with a bandage around his head but said he will be OK.

Amy Conlin with Humboldt Bay Fire says the load on the truck was not hazardous.

“There is product in the truck but it’s non-lethal, non-explosive, there’s nothing in there that would harm the road or the environment.”

The road was re-opened to traffic just after 3 p.m.

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