On June 17, Leslie G. saw photos of a stranded semi truck and trailer on the opposite side of the road by her Valley Center home.
“The truck got stuck near Pala Loma Drive and Lilac Road,” Leslie said to me, “….. Lilac turns into a dirt road because the land is owned by the reservation on that side going towards the CA-76.”
Lisa H. is a truck driver and former letter carrier that’s well versed with the Valley Center windy roads. “The driver should not have even been there,” she said. “That is not a through route for a tractor with a 53′ trailer. I wouldn’t take one down there, and I am local and know the road: the corners are much too tight to make it through without going off the side as it happened.”
The trailer had a DFS/DanFreight.com company logo on the rear. When I pulled up the trucking company’s website, it was in the French language and based out of Quebec, Canada.
I reached out to Augie, the original poster (OP) of the stranded DFS truck-and-trailer photos; he agreed to talk but as of presstime wasn’t able to respond to my questions. He did caption his photos which read in part: “The signs are apparently too small and need to be written in Spanish as well so there aren’t any excuses!!! Someone is gonna get killed.”
Another Valley Center resident agreed with Augie that some of the diesel truck drivers “speak Spanish”; another said “the driver was Russian and did not speak English very well.”
“This is sort if thing is becoming way too common,” Augie continued. “The other day I was coming home on the tight “twisties” as we call them …. and was almost headered by rig with a 40′ trailer. When I put my hand up like “what are you doing?” …. he got mad like he does it all the time.”
Leslie said that she’s “never even noticed the ‘No Trucks’ or ‘No Semis’ signs,” although “[even] standard box trucks have problems here because the roads are narrow winding roads.”
Leslie then linked me to videos of two other stranded semis that couldn’t make a turn on West Lilac Road.
Lisa feels bad for her fellow truckers that get stuck in her part of town. “It’s really easy to make mistakes in a semi and very hard to correct them a lot of the time.”
Lisa is a second-generation trucker. “My father drove for over 40 years and my uncle drove for over 30; they both taught me a lot. I wish my father was still alive, as his was a great brain to pick about all things trucking-related.
“If [the stranded semi driver was] following GPS routing on his phone through Google maps or something like that, those routes are mapped for cars, not rigs and trailers. Even a trucking GPS can steer you in the wrong direction. That is why it is important to get directions to the business you are going to either from your company and/or the business itself. I use satellite images, a road atlas, and GPS along with directions to where I am going — and still can run into trouble if one little thing is changed. Sometimes when you focus on one part of it, you can miss the [‘No Semi Trucks’] signs easily.
Other Valley Center residents commented that if the I-15 or CA-76 are congested, some drivers are automatically rerouted via GPS to their backroads.
“I know we (truck drivers) can use Cole Grade Road, Valley Center Road and Lake Wohlford Road,” Lisa said, “and if you don’t know how Lilac Road and Old Castle Road connect, it would be an easy mistake to make.”