NewsCovering Kern County


Collision between SUV, semi on Highway 43 slowed traffic

Posted at 4:39 AM, Jan 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-12 16:35:22-05

UPDATE (1/12, 1:33 p.m.): CHP has released the names of the drivers involved in this morning's collision on Highway 43 near Panama Lane.

Nebraska resident Zachary Thiel, 25, was driving the flatbed semi-trailer. Lance Stephens, of Taft suffered major injuries in the collision. Stephens, 35, was taken to Kern Medical. 


According to the CHP, the driver of the big rig was actually traveling on Highway 43 and missed an exit. The big rig driver then went into reverse, backing up onto Panama Lane. While attempting to back up, the big rig was hit by the SUV. 

The CHP said the driver of the big rig initially said they were on Panama turning onto the 43, but later changed their story. 


Roads reopened around 7 a.m. Friday morning on Highway 43 near Panama Lane after a crash slowed traffic just after 4 a.m.

According to the driver of the big rig, it was dark and foggy at the time of the collision. 

The CHP says the big rig was stopped on Panama Lane and began turning onto Highway 43 when the SUV, traveling on the 43, ran into it. 

Kern County Fire crews are on scene working to extricate the person in the SUV. They suffered major injuries, but officials say they are expected to survive. 


Traffic on Highway 43 near Panama Lane is slowing due to a crash Friday morning.

According to the California Highway Patrol, an SUV and a big rig collided just after 4 a.m.

It's not known if anyone was injured.