A truck driver died Tuesday afternoon when he applied his brakes and the steel he was hauling on a flat-bed trailer on Interstate 8 east of El Cajon crashed through his cab and impaled him, authorities said.
It happened about 2:50 p.m. on the eastbound interstate between El Cajon and Alpine, according to California Highway Patrol spokesperson Officer Travis Garrow.
It was not immediately clear why the truck driver hit the brakes, Garrow said. But when he did, the load he was hauling — steel sheet piling, which are long, beam-like pieces of angled metal used to build retaining walls — shifted forward, slamming through the truck’s cab.
The steel was improperly secured on the trailer, Garrow said in a news release.
The driver, whose name and age were not immediately released, died at the scene, Garrow said. No other vehicles were involved in the incident.
Authorities shut down the left lane of the freeway, snarling traffic for several hours, Garrow said.