What felt like an earthquake awoke Leticia Alba, 43, early Monday at her south Santa Rosa home abutting Highway 101.
But it was not a seismic tremor. Alba's home shook and quaked from the force of a metal plate catapulting through the walls after a big rig jackknifed into a highway guardrail.
The foot-square plate blasted through a fence, tore a hole in the bedroom wall of the mobile home and flew above Alba, her husband and their 6-year-old son as they slept. The plate then ripped through another wall and cracked a window as it passed through the hallway before chipping the kitchen table and lodging into a support beam.
"There was so much noise, I hung on to my son," Alba said.
The 5:10 a.m. crash on northbound Highway 101 near Todd Road snarled both morning and evening commute traffic for miles as officers and crews dealt with the wreck.
One lane was closed for more than 13 hours, funneling motorists into two lanes until the third lane finally reopened at about 6:30 p.m.
<NO1><NO>Only a line of redwood trees and a chain link fence stands between the Rancho Santa Rosa Mobile Home Park and the highway.
<NO1><NO>No one was hurt, and Alba said she and her family felt extremely lucky, though still shaken.
"I'm not hungry today, and I kept thinking, 'Why am I not hungry?'<TH>" said Alba, who returned home after a day's work at Costco. "Then I think, 'Oh yeah' .<TH>.<TH>."
Driver Trinidad Ochoa, 39, of Lathrop had left Stockton at about 1:30<TH>a.m. and was heading north toward Airport Boulevard when he somehow lost control of the rig, CHP Officer Jon Sloat said.
The Ryder truck carrying a haul of groceries crashed into a ditch along the slow lane.
Two doors down from Alba, her older daughter's boyfriend, Saul Sanchez, 25, said the crash shook his home as well.
He said other neighbors said they heard a "boom boom boom," which they later surmised was the sound of the rig crashing into trees before it ended up off the road in a ditch.
When Sanchez realized the damage was limited to Alba's home, Sanchez said he ran through the mobile unit with her, looking for what caused the damage.
"We're looking for a couple of minutes .<TH>.<TH>. what happened? Then I saw it there," said Sanchez, pointing to the gash in the support beam where the plate was lodged.
Investigators had come to the home to see the damage and took the metal piece.
The metal plate was a connection piece on the guardrail that flew about 85 feet from the barrier into the home, said Sloat with the CHP.
"It was bolted in place and attached to a tension wire," Sloat said. "The bolt failed and slung that sucker right through (the wall)."
CHP officers were investigating what led to the crash, including whether Ochoa could have fallen asleep after driving much of the night or if the truck had malfunctioned.
Ochoa initially told officers another driver had cut him off, but investigators found no evidence to support that statement, Sloat said.
Ochoa was bleeding from cuts to his face or head when emergency responders first arrived. He was treated for the minor injuries.
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