Sacto 9-1-1
March 29, 2013
UPDATE: Truck driver of I-80 crash identified by CHP

The California Highway Patrol has released the name of the truck driver involved in the fiery wreck on Interstate 80 near Davis on Thursday as John Manuszak, 45, of Fresno.

Earlier in the day, authorities identified the two people killed in the accident.

The driver was identified as Phang Phetsomphou, 76, and the passenger was Bouaket Phetsomphou, 74, the Solano County Sheriff-Coroner's Office reports. Both were from Petaluma.

The CHP reopened Interstate 80's westbound lanes nearly seven hours after they were closed Thursday morning.

The incident, which spanned eastbound and westbound lanes east of the University of California, Davis, exit off I-80, shut down eastbound lanes for two hours and westbound lanes for even longer.

About 10:30 a.m., the big rig was eastbound in the slow lane when the driver, who was eating, began to choke on his food. He told officers that he briefly lost consciousness, and his truck drifted onto the right shoulder before veering left, across all lanes of eastbound traffic, CHP Officer Chris Parker said.

The big rig then struck two cars whose occupants suffered minor to moderate injuries, Parker said.

The big rig then struck the guard rail in the center divider and passed into westbound lanes, Parker said. At that point, the big rig's driver regained consciousness, but "unfortunately it's not in time enough to avoid a head-on collision," Parker said.

The big rig then struck a BMW, and both vehicles burst into flames, killing the man and woman in the BMW.

Parker said it is not yet clear whether the big rig's driver will face charges in connection with the collisions. That decision will be made by the district attorney's office after the investigation is complete.

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