Big rig driver struck, killed on Highway 44

A 28-year-old big rig driver lost his life on Highway 44 when he was hit by big rig during the stormy conditions Saturday, Jan. 7.

Kenneth Wayne Hendren, 28, of Reno, Nevada, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Lassen County Sheriff/Corner’s Office.

According to a statement from the California Highway Patrol, about 3:50 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 7, Lassen County experienced freezing temperatures in conjunction with rain and snow resulting in icy roadway conditions, and several semi trucks became disabled or stopped to install chains on Highway 44 west of Highway 36. A non-injury traffic collision occurred, leaving a 2015 Freightliner and van trailer facing westbound and disabled in the center of the highway.

Hendren exited his vehicle to make contact with the other big rig driver, Tawney Fackrell, 28, of Reno, Nevada, when he was struck by an eastbound 2015 Peterbilt with a tank trailer driven by Robert Graham, 48, of Chilcoot, California.

Moments later, the CHP reports, an eastbound pickup truck approached the scene and collided with another stopped semi truck.

According to the statement by the CHP, Hendren suffered major injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The collisions remain under investigation by the CHP.

The CHP reminds motorists to slow down for wet and icy roadway conditions. If travel is not immediately necessary, the CHP recommends postponing travel until weather and roadway conditions improve.