June 12 fatal accident

Southbound 71 Freeway traffic comes to a stop at Butterfield Ranch Road after a June 12 fatal accident. Caltrans will install warning signs on the freeway near Pine Avenue in the next 30 to 60 days.

Caltrans will install three signs with flashing beacons on the southbound 71 Freeway with the words “Watch for Stopped Vehicles” in the next 30 to 60 days.

The signs will be installed approximately 550 feet south of the Pine Avenue overcrossing, 1,500 feet south of the first sign, and 1,500 feet south of the second sign.

The third sign will be north of the Euclid Avenue overcrossing.

The “freeway ends” signs will be supplemented with the words “freeway ends in 1.5 miles” signs and flashing beacons will be added, according to Terri Kasinga, chief of public affairs for Caltrans District 8.

Currently there are no warning signs for stopped vehicles, she said.

Chino Hills Mayor Cynthia Moran called a meeting with Caltrans District 8 officials Monday at city hall because of a fatal accident involving a box truck and four vehicles June 12.

The driver failed to stop for slowing traffic on southbound 71 near Butterfield Ranch Road, an area that consistently backs up as motorists merge onto the 91 Freeway.

The driver’s action caused the crash that took the lives of a Chino Hills resident and her mother, according to investigators.

Expedite

Mayor Moran, the city manager, the public works director and Councilman Peter Rogers, met with Caltrans District 8 director Michael Beauchamp and his deputy directors.

Also in attendance were Chino Hills Police Captain John Walker and Fire Chief Tim Shackelford.

Ms. Kasinga said Caltrans is expediting the process.

“Caltrans has recently been an excellent partner and has been willing to implement many of our suggestions,” Mr. Rogers said. 

Chino Hills is a young city on the edge of the county and is like a stepchild of San Bernardino and Riverside counties, he said.

A good example is the narrowing of the 71 Freeway at Riverside County because the county has chosen not to fund the freeway’s widening in Chino Hills, he said.

Mr. Rogers said Riverside County claims it doesn’t affect enough of their residents and concentrates projects elsewhere, so Chino Hills continues to “fight the fight,” he said. 

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