Police: Trucker's 'mysterious' death likely caused by lunging truck

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line staff writer | Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Police are calling the circumstances that led to the death of a California truck driver a tragic accident.

Driver Vitali Dobic, 36, of Rancho Cordova, CA, was killed on April 10 after being run over by his 1990 Freightliner in the parking lot of his employer, TC Trucking, in West Sacramento.

Dobic’s body was found under the cab of his truck, after the tractor crashed into an abutment in the industrial parking lot. When units arrived on scene, they found the tractor. It appeared to have crashed through a chain link fence of the business and stopped at the side of I-80 after hitting a dirt berm. Dobic was found pinned under the tractor, which was still running, and pronounced dead on scene.

West Sacramento police Lt. Tod Sockman said authorities believe that Dobic started his vehicle, then exited the cab of the truck to open the hood. While he was in the process of opening the hood, the vehicle lurched forward and ran Dobic over.

“At this point, it doesn’t look like there is anybody else involved,” Sockman said. “It’s just one of those freak things.”

Sockman said police discovered the air brake on Dobic’s truck was set, locking up the rear axle. Somehow the truck slipped into second gear, causing the rig to lurch forward. 

“When the truck popped into gear, the rear axle drug along leaving skid marks on the asphalt,” he said. “The axle in front was spinning when the officers arrived on scene.”

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