Four vehicles collide, dog dies at Highway 46 rest stop


A four-vehicle collision along Highway 46 involving three big rig trucks and a Ford Expedition left a couple in the SUV with major injuries and one of their dogs dead Monday morning.

Shortly before 6 a.m., a 63-year-old man was driving a 2013 Freightliner tractor and trailer westbound at the Shandon Rest Area on Highway 46. The truck driver crossed into the eastbound lane and sideswiped an oncoming 2013 Freightliner tractor truck that was pulling a double trailer loaded with cardboard, according to the CHP.

Following the initial collision, the eastbound truck crossed into the westbound lane and crashed into the left-rear axle of a westbound 2015 International tractor truck and trailer. Meanwhile, the westbound big rig drove into the path of an eastbound Ford Expedition, causing the SUV to spin into the westbound lane.

A Visalia couple was inside the Expedition. Both Eric Jennings, 52, and Erin Jennings, 48, suffered major injuries and were transported to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center.

One of the couple’s three dogs died as a result of the crash. Each of the truck drivers emerged uninjured.

When officers arrived at the scene of the crash, they found the roadway blocked between the rest area and Lucy Brown Road. CHP officers directed traffic on Highway 46 in the area with assistance from San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s deputies and Caltrans personnel.

Officers are still investigating the cause of the collision. Neither alcohol nor drugs appear to be factors.