Fatal accident on 395 near Olancha

News releases

OLANCHA— The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is currently providing traffic control for the cleanup of a sedan versus truck accident that occurred yesterday evening.

The accident is just south of the junction of U.S. 395 and State Route 190, in the town of Olancha. The overturned truck was hauling 52,000 pounds of crushed marble and spilled about 60 gallons of diesel.

Prior to towing the truck away and finalizing clearance of the accident scene, the truck must be emptied of the marble in order to successfully upright the vehicle, and the hazardous diesel must be removed.

Caltrans will use flaggers, alternating north and southbound traffic past the work site. Expect traffic delays of up to 15 minutes.

For the latest highway information please visit the Caltrans QuickMap site at quickmap.dot.ca.gov or call the Road Condition Hotline at 1-800-427-ROAD (7623).


For the safety of workers and other motorists, please Be Work Zone Alert.


On December 27, 2017, at approximately 1651 hours, a 2010 Freightliner Tractor/Trailer combination (V-2) was traveling northbound on US-395 (a two-lane highway at this location), approximately one mile south of SR-190 (Olancha), at approximately 55 mph.

At the same time, a 2011 Lexus GS350 (V-1) was traveling southbound on US-395, approaching V-2, at an unknown rate of speed. The driver of V-1 attempted to pass the vehicle in front of him by driving into the northbound lane, directly in V-2’s path of travel.

This resulted in V-1’s front end striking V-2’s front end. V-1’s driver and left rear passenger, both from Burbank, sustained fatal injuries as a result of this collision.

The remaining passenger of V-1, a child seated in the right rear child restraint, was transported to Bakersfield Trauma Center by Mercy Air. The driver of V-2 sustained minor injuries and was transported to Southern Inyo Hospital.

This collision is still under investigation. The names of the deceased are being withheld pending notification of next of kin.


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40 Responses to Fatal accident on 395 near Olancha

  1. Lilly Chiang October 25, 2018 at 3:54 pm #

    We are still devastated and saddened about their tragic death that happen almost a year ago. I came from Taiwan where both Dr. Lin and Dr. Lu originated from. So I immediately bonded with them on my very first office visit. I can still remember how much fun we shared talking about all beautiful places in Taiwan and the delicious Chinese foods we missed back home while speaking in our native language “mandarin”! Jerry and Linda were the most patient, gentle, kind, loving, happy and humble person. My family will forever miss you both. We will continue pray to God to watch over their son in his daily life. May you REST IN PEACE!

    Lilly, Mariann and Sean

  2. BK March 13, 2018 at 10:08 am #

    Still shocked at the tragic news, I finally decided to look up the details today… perhaps for some closure on my part. Thank you so much for your service and for your friendship – RIP Dr Lu and Dr Lin. May God bless and sustain your little one!

  3. Alison March 12, 2018 at 6:04 pm #

    My husband and I are beyond heartbroken for the family, the practice and the little boy who survived. His mother spoke about him every time I went into her office (we’ve been patients for 12 years). Dr Linda Lu was such a sweet woman. I’m so sad… Prayers and hugs for their family and son. I’m so sorry to hear the news.

  4. April Milligan March 1, 2018 at 2:34 pm #

    I just found out today about this terrible news. My ex-husbands family introduced me to Jerry and Linda 10 years ago. We are all patients of theirs. It breaks my heart to hear about such horrible event happening to a wonderful family. I pray for their son, family and all their co-workers. It is a very heart breaking to hear about this!! Love, April Milligan Hugs and prayer for all

  5. Craig Paulsen February 15, 2018 at 10:19 pm #

    Dr. Lu was my dentist. I’m really sad to learn of her passing. REALY SAD.

  6. Xenia Larin February 1, 2018 at 5:18 pm #

    I am left without words today to find out this terrible tradegy!
    Dr Lynn has been my Family dentist for the past 15 years! Visiting the Dentist was a great experience because they always took the time with me and my Family. There is nothing I could say but bless this little guy they left behind! May he always know he had the most amazing parents! My heart truly goes out to him and may God Bless the Family and clinic they left behind and the wonderful people that worked by their side! Love Xenia Larin and Family!

  7. Kelli Jensen January 25, 2018 at 8:38 am #

    I am so very sad to learn about this horrific accident and then to find out it was my former pool co-captain and his wife just breaks my heart. He was patient and helped any one who wanted to learn how to be a better player. He took our team to Vegas, well… since before I joined the team and the first time we went, I was blessed to play with his wife as well and get to know her. This was before we both had babies. They were phenomenal people and my heart breaks for their son, family, friends, teammates and the dental practice that they left behind. I pray that God will bring peace and comfort to them as well as some wisdom to those that could change that section of the highway and the power to see it through once and for all so that their deaths might seem a little less senseless!

  8. Dennis Burgeson January 24, 2018 at 8:20 pm #

    Heartbreaking news. I knew Dr. Lin and Dr. Lu for 17 years. Dr. Lin was bar far the sweetest caring and gentle dentist on Earth bar none. And he was a humble and respectful person as well. He took his glove off an shook my hand EVERY time I went to see him. And he would chit chat with me and he actually listened because when I would see him again he would ask follow up questions. He really cared. One time I decided to get my mercury fillings removed, which were legion due to scads of candy as a child, and I asked him what he could do to help minimize the debris from getting into my stomach. He set up a double suction and took extra time and care. Not that he thought I should be concerned but since it mattered to me it mattered to him. And Dr. Lu. As excellent as a dentist as Dr Lin. What a tragedy. “The World was not worthy of them”.

  9. Ines Bravo January 24, 2018 at 3:39 pm #

    I have known Dr. Lin for over 20 years and I am very sad for his family and son. May God bless them. I am sure he was not trying to pass another car, he was not the type of person to take that kind of risk with his family. Something went wrong! Ines Bravo

  10. Susan Brabant January 23, 2018 at 3:17 pm #

    My husband and I were patients of Dr. Lin and Dr. Lu for over 13 years. Im so sad over this news. Dr. Lu was such a kind person. We always enjoyed conversations talking about children, education and schools. She will be missed. Bless her family and son. Susan and Joe Brabant

  11. Janice Baldwin January 23, 2018 at 12:49 am #

    We were patients of Dr. Jerry Lin and his wife Linda Lu. My son and his Family also were his patients. We knew him for a decade, and found him to be gentle, fair and sensitive to our needs! What a loss for his family and his son. Such a tragedy! We just found out today and are in shock and so saddened by this news! Maybe God bless them both and take care of their young son.
    Janice and Xavier Baldwin

  12. Paulina January 19, 2018 at 10:14 pm #

    Dr. Lin was also my dentist and I also knew his wife. This is a terrible tragedy. May those traveling this road in the future drive safely and be cautious.

  13. Scott January 17, 2018 at 2:51 am #

    Heart breaks, a wonderful family…

  14. Moe January 11, 2018 at 7:43 pm #

    I knew him too. He was truly a good person, respectful and always pleasant. (And an amazing pool player)
    -RIP Jerry

  15. frank howe January 11, 2018 at 12:57 am #

    I don’t know the area, the roads, or what really happened but i knew one of the fatalities. He was a dentist and one of the nicest guys ever. I never was lucky enough to meet his wife and child but was told they were lovely. Sad to learn of his their deaths but thanks to those on here that gave some insight. RIP Jerry

  16. D.A. Wright January 6, 2018 at 11:18 am #

    I lived in June Lake and Big Pine during much of the 1970s to 2008. During those decades I watched US395 turn from a 2-lane highway to its present state. I’ve seen numerous injury and fatal accidents. I have been run off the road a time or two from someone pulling out into my path when I can see the whites of their eyes. On several occasions at the intersection of Aberdeen Station Road and the old 2-lane highway (before that section was 4-laned) I have been passed by “flatlanders” in the seperated double yellow, who was being passed in the northbound lanes, while being passed on the right shoulder by those who are just “dying” to be the first to turn tips on Mammoth or June Mountain. I just cannot fathom the Southern California lemming like propensity to follow within inches nose to tail at 15-30 miles per hour above posted speed limits and have seen it in Inyo/Mono. Sure, I miss the old, nostalgic days of the 2-lane US395. But the four lane protects the locals as much as it does the visitors.

  17. Roadgeek395 January 3, 2018 at 6:22 pm #

    For everyone talking about installing a center divider please read the EIR for the Olancha 4 lane project. It explains why it’s not the fix-all solution.


    • Charles O. Jones January 25, 2018 at 9:04 am #

      Recent addition to the link below:

      “January 24, 2018

      Caltrans is currently in the design and right of way phases. Residents affected by the new alignment will receive a notice of decision to appraise from the Caltrans Right of Way department. In addition, Caltrans is in the process of acquiring required permits from regulatory agencies. After construction, Caltrans intends to relinquish a portion of the existing two-lane U.S. Highway 395 to Inyo County.”

  18. Trouble January 2, 2018 at 6:53 am #

    This one is on Caltrans. Either reroute it or put up a center divider. Don’t blame others for not trying to fix the problem.

    • Tinner January 4, 2018 at 6:24 pm #

      No Trouble, this one is on those who value plant life over human life.

      • Low-Inyo January 6, 2018 at 8:21 am #

        Tinner…not so much valuing plant like over human life,IMO…..two things to be done to help fix….build the alternate route outside Olancha….and get some CHP presence in that area to slow down the SoCalers…even so,if that were to happen,still going to be speeding,silly drivers and accidents.

      • sugarmags February 2, 2018 at 2:28 pm #

        Yep, plant life and garbage dumps from the early 20th century are more important to BLM staff then people’s lives. Can you say ‘obstructionist’?

        • quacque February 6, 2018 at 7:08 am #

          What is your investment in spewing this hate-filled nonsense?

  19. Charles O. Jones January 1, 2018 at 9:46 am #

    Hey Caltrans – There were plans being discussed several years ago to address this dangerous section of highway, please update us on the status.

  20. Skadi Lifdis December 30, 2017 at 9:34 am #

    Personally, I think they should put up billboards with pictures of these horrific accidents (obviously without showing any gore) and perhaps put the stats (1 car, 1 semi. 2 fatalities). I talk to people from the cities all the time that seem to think because the highway is straight and not nearly as crowded as down south, it’s ok to drive 90 and pass where ever…even if it’s not allowed (gee…why can’t I pass on this hill or curve..I don’t see anyone and this stupid car is going soooo slow at 70 mph…). I tell people that where ever they are going will still be there but driving the way they are, THEY may never make it.

    • Almost Native January 3, 2018 at 6:38 am #

      Skadi, that is the last thing we should in courage in my book. You might think of putting some of those gross pictures on Caltrans front door .
      I know at least three people from Bishop that have been killed and injured at this same spot.

    • Laura February 19, 2019 at 5:14 pm #

      Skadi…he never tried to pass. He was either sleepy or distracted. I knew them and he would never had put his family in danger like that. As for putting up horrific accidents on billboards…it’s posted on most digital displays not to text and drive…that doesn’t seem to phase anyone from doing so, so why would posting horrific accidents keep people from getting into an “accident”?

  21. Low-Inyo December 30, 2017 at 8:22 am #

    This whole week,crazy drivers and traffic…and not just on HWY 395,but also the main st. in town…driving through downtown Lone Pine in front of McDonald’s and LPHS and in the afternoon I was passed by a Ford F150 going at least 65 MPH in the 25 MPH zone….was hoping for red lights and sirens coming behind ,but not a CHP in sight,in fact not a CHP in sight at all this past week…

    • Erinn January 2, 2018 at 5:06 pm #

      Plenty of CHP’s up here in Mono County – and they are doing a great job!!

      • Low-Inyo January 17, 2018 at 9:37 am #

        Mono County,always a lot of CHP’s,especially in the area between Lee Vining and Bridgeport,which is a good thing….been told if you drive 5 MPH over the speed limit through either of those towns,or over about 70 MPH going to or from those towns you can count on a speeding ticket,not just a warning…always get a kick out of those that bitch about that happening,saying California is a “police State”…but if you talk to those that live up in that area they love it that LE keeps good control on the stupid drivers,not worried that citations will effect their “tourist income “….

    • sugarmags January 2, 2018 at 6:51 pm #

      seriously??? CHP have been EVERYWHERE this holiday seasons. Literally, pulling people over left and right, I saw 6 (in 1.5 hours driving through Mono Co) alone on christmas eve, even though hardly anyone was on the road. Open your eyes dude

  22. Donald Salac December 29, 2017 at 4:55 pm #

    I commuted to Santa Barbara for over two years. Down on Sunday afternoon and back on Friday afternoon. The worst part of the ride was Olancha. Been run of the road several times. Thank God the wrong way driver did not choose to go off the road at the same time I did. There are many crosses beside the road along this strip. How many more does it take before the state does something?

    • sugarmags January 2, 2018 at 6:54 pm #

      The system is broken…they’ve been trying to 4-lane this stretch of highway since 1998. Can’t get through the environmental process. Seriously, some Fed govt. agencies care more about 1900’s trash dumps than saving peoples lives. For real.

  23. Trouble December 29, 2017 at 1:09 pm #

    This has been going on for 40 years now and we have all known of the problem for to long now. Cal trans needs to finally do something. Speeding, cell phones and no seat belt tickets are not the answer here.

    • Low-Inyo January 1, 2018 at 11:35 am #

      Trouble…Cal Trans can do all they can or want,but in most cases,as long as the SoCal drivers drive like they do,there is always going to be these horrific accidents up here….2 lane,four lane,by-pass,whatever it is,still gonna happen when people are driving 85 MPH,texting and talking on smart phones,dare I say sometimes drinking and doing other silly things while driving.

      • Trouble January 3, 2018 at 12:24 pm #

        Lower, speeding is not the main problem there. People are not able to see oncoming traffic after they are already committed to passing the slow trucks in front of them. I don’t get why they don’t put in a center divider there.

  24. Sierra Lady December 29, 2017 at 9:57 am #

    Yesterday (12/28) on our way home to Mammoth after being away for Christmas, we saw the efforts being made to upright the semi. We didn’t know what happened until I looked it up on my phone then read about the tragedy. An eye witness, who was driving behind the Lexus (V-1) wrote in a post on the CHP Facebook page, that the Lexus driver did NOT attempt to pass a vehicle since there hadn’t been one in front of that driver. The witness wrote that the Lexus driver drifted into the nb lane in front of the semi which tells us the driver was either distracted or sleepy. Our hearts go out to the child (praying it survives) and the truck driver. That is a horrible section of 395 which is a 55 mph and no passing zone, yet we see and experience speeders/tailgaters/passers all the time there. That section needs to be widened to four lanes or the bypass put in.

    B. Richter

  25. John wiley December 28, 2017 at 10:55 pm #

    Not mercy air -Hall Air

  26. Rick O'Brien December 28, 2017 at 10:10 pm #

    If people would have just a little bit more patience, instead of passing (illegally) to get just one more car length ahead, we’d ALL be safer . I realize that it’s not financially viable, but think how much safer it would be if CalTrans put up those concrete barriers in the center divider, especially on the curves. just sayin’

  27. Roadgeek395 December 28, 2017 at 6:29 pm #

    I hate reading about these types of terrible accidents. This is why I’m all for the Olancha Bypass. I know the bypass wouldn’t prevent all accidents, but it would prevent these deadly head-on accidents.

    My thoughts go out to the victims families and the truck driver.


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