Chico, Calif. - A 48-year-old man was killed after police say he ran over a rock that was in the middle of Highway 70 outside of Belden.
The driver lost control, collided into a rocky embankment, and his truck burst into flames, he never got out.
"At some point, it caught on fire and we do not know how exactly that happened but we are still trying to investigate that and figure it out," said Officer Reece McAllister with the California Highway Patrol.
The CHP said the accident happened around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday.
"The Feather River Canyon, we have a lot of rocks that come down; especially during the rain," said McAllister. "At night, they are very hard to see because the roads are dark; the rocks are dark and that makes them hard to see."
The CHP closed a 20 mile stretch of Highway 70 for nearly nine hours while crews spent the morning hours cleaning up the mess
"It's extremely hard to turn around a lot of big rigs and people and if we stack up a lot of cars here inside the canyon, there's not a lot of room for people to turn around," said McAllister.
Investigators explained the wet weather can make Highway 70 very dangerous. Officers say Cal Trans workers are constantly busy during a storm keeping the roads clear of falling rocks.
Police say the fire damaged part of the highway.
Cal Trans workers will be out there again tomorrow to repave a section.
More delays are expected for drivers commuting between Plumas and Butte counties.
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