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Badly hurt trucker airlifted after I-5 crash in Stanislaus. Drivers should expect delays

A major-injury traffic collision involving a semi-truck occurred in the southbound lanes of Interstate 5 south of Stuhr Road near Newman at about 2 p.m. Wednesday, according to the California Highway Patrol.

By 2:30 p.m., traffic was beginning to back up and a closure of at least one lane was expected to take place ahead of rush-hour traffic, Officer Thomas Olsen said.

Caltrans was on scene to start emergency repairs to a guardrail on the southbound side of I-5 that was damaged when struck by a 2019 Peterbilt semi-truck, which landed down in a embankment in Poverty Flat.

The driver of the truck, a 58-year-old Kansas City, Missouri, man, was airlifted from the scene with “major injuries” after being extracted from the truck. Olsen said the man was alert and talking to officers before he was transported.

As of midafternoon Wednesday, the anticipated duration of the lane closure was undetermined. Olsen asked for drivers’ patience as crews worked as fast as they can to repair the guardrail on the bridge.

“Its a delicate process trying to remove these things … from the roadway down there. Safety is always priority one,” he said.

Olsen added that State Route 33 could be used as an alternate route.