A three-vehicle crash involving two semi trucks — one carrying pears, the other hot asphalt — and an SUV caused the closure of Lakeville Highway south of Petaluma around noon Wednesday.
One semi overturned in the 11:53 a.m. wreck, spilling hot asphalt onto a field near the roadway, according to the CHP.
Lakeville Highway, a major commute route, was reopened at 3:45 p.m. as emergency crews cleaned up the spilled pears. Cleanup of the spilled asphalt was ongoing, the CHP said late Wednesday afternoon.
No serious injuries were involved.
The crash occurred when Robert Martin, 61, of Thorton, the driver of the big rig carrying pears, failed to notice stopped traffic in front of him and swerved to the left to avoid a Land Rover, CHP Officer Kimberly Lemons said in a news release.
The abrupt steering movement caused the load of pears to shift and several large containers became disconnected and struck the back of the Land Rover, driven by Kara Love, 39, of Point Reyes.
Love and her daughter suffered minor injuries and were transported to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, Lemons said. Their vehicle sustained major damage.
Martin drove into the opposing lane of Lakeville Highway, directly in front of the tanker truck hauling liquid asphalt. Attempting to avoid a head-on collision, the driver, Ron Morales, 52, swerved to the right, down an embankment and into a dirt field, Lemons said.
One of the tanks overturned, spilling 2,500 gallons of its contents.
Morales was not injured, the CHP said.
Lakeville Highway was closed between Highway 37 and Highway 116 while crews righted the tanker and Caltrans and Sonoma County Road Department workers cleared up the pears. Traffic was backed up on Highway 37 for miles in each direction. Traffic on Lakeville Highway was detoured onto Highway 116.
You can reach Meghan Herbst at 707-521-5250 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @Megeherbst.