Caught on Camera: Semi-truck slams into traffic on I-805
Driver that struck sign suspected of DUI
Last Updated: 270 days ago
SAN DIEGO - A suspected drunken driver struck a freeway traffic sign Friday morning, starting a chain of events that led to a semi-truck crashing into the back of a stopped car.
MORE IMAGES: I-805 crash
The incident happened just after 3:30 a.m. on southbound Interstate 805 at University Avenue, according to the California Highway Patrol.
According to the CHP, a man driving a tan Mazda clipped an active electronic Caltrans sign, knocking it onto the roadway. Several motorists then hit the debris and traffic slowed behind them.
However, a semi-truck did not have enough clearance behind one of the vehicles, and as it swerved to avoid a collision, the truck's trailer slammed directly into the back of a blue Toyota Camry -- which had stopped in the lanes -- and struck at least two other vehicles that also stopped.
The CHP said Navraj Moktan, the driver of the blue Camry, was outside of his car when the trailer struck him and his vehicle. The CHP said the impact "propelled" Moktan toward the right shoulder. He was taken to Scripps Mercy Hospital with major injuries.
On Friday afternoon, a family friend told 10News, "Emotionally, we are badly disturbed. He had become a member of this family."
Friends and family tell 10News that Moktan has been living in San Diego for the past two years with his wife on a work visa from Nepal. They describe him as a kind, caring and humble man in his late 20s.
On Saturday, family members told 10News Moktan is doing much better. 10News learned he has been upgraded from critical to serious condition.
He is undergoing a second surgery on Saturday. It will include plastic surgery on one of his thighs where he has suffered deep wounds.
Moktan's cousin told 10News that he fractured both of his hands and underwent extensive surgery on both Friday and Saturday. The cousin added that doctors say Moktan also cracked one of his femurs.
Family members also tell 10News that Moktan has no health insurance since he is living in San Diego on a work visa.
Navraj’s wife has set up an account if anyone would like to help donate to help them during this time. If you'd like to donate, visit a Wells Fargo bank and reference the following information
Routing Number: 122000247
Account Number: 1648701504
The account is under the name Himalu Shrestha.
The Mazda's driver, 22-year-old San Diego resident Donald Aaron Clark, was booked for felony DUI and driving with a suspended license.
Clark is being held at the Central Jail downtown. Bail was set at $100,000. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday.
The CHP said six cars were involved in the incident due to the road debris.
Paul Anderegg, a freelance photographer who works with local stations like 10News, was at the scene prior to the crash. He was able to capture the incident as it unfolded.
Doug Calapan said he pulled over on the shoulder after the accident to call someone, not knowing it would only get worse.
"I saw several other vehicles hit the debris -- I thought I was safe off to the side," Calapan said.
"I was trying to call home to tell them I was in an accident. Next thing you know I get hit by this cement truck," Calapan added.
Anderegg said, "It's an amazing story in itself of survival that someone was run over by something so huge and survived. But, for it to be captured on video is unbelievable!"
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.