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Milk truck, train crash, killing one

October 24, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

SEELEY — One man died and another was injured when the milk truck they were in collided with a train west of here Tuesday.

Local authorities are investigating whether drugs may have been a factor in the collision, which occurred shortly after 3 p.m. on Jeffrey Road north of Evan Hewes Highway.

Killed was Chino resident Rollin M. Tolle, 51, the driver of the truck — a tanker hauling milk to the Imperial Valley Cheese plant just beyond the railroad crossing.

The passenger was Larry Overturf, 38, also of Chino, who suffered major injuries and was taken to El Centro Regional Medical Center after being pulled from the mangled truck cabin by a passersby.


He was later transferred to the University of California San Diego Medical Center where he was reported to be in good condition this morning.

According to the California Highway Patrol, the truck was approaching the railroad crossing as a train was traveling east from Plaster City.

The truck driver, according to the Highway Patrol, failed to see the flashing red lights at the crossing and started to drive across the tracks. The train, unable to stop, collided with the truck and dragged it 130 yards.

Tolle was thrown from the cab and died at the scene.

County fire crews said Overturf sustained head and chest injuries, adding he was conscious but was not aware of what had happened.

Highway Patrol authorities said the collision was under investigation, adding glass tubes allegedly containing a controlled substance were found inside the truck cab and around the collision scene.

In an interview this morning, Highway Patrol Officer J. Navarrete alleged the substance found inside the tubes was methamphetamine.

Coroner Investigator Rick Macken said there would be a toxicology test as part of an autopsy Saturday.

Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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