Avenal SP officers help after big rig turns over and slides off road

By Lt. Mike Tuntakit, AA/Public Information Officer
Avenal State Prison

Two Avenal State Prison (ASP) Correctional Officers stepped in to help after a big rig crashed while making a turn.

Correctional Officer Jim McFarlin

Correctional Officer Jim McFarlin.

While driving home from work at ASP on Aug. 3, Correctional Officer Jim McFarlin watched as a semi-truck attempted to make a sharp curve, lost control, flipped on its side, slid across the street and careened into a dirt field.

Officer McFarlin immediately pulled over and ran to the scene.

Within seconds, Officer Deborah Reanu also pulled over. She called emergency services, notifying them of the accident, then jumped in to help.

Fluid was leaking from the semi-truck and shattered glass was strewn about the scene. Without regard for their personal safety, the officers approached the vehicle.

Searching the vehicle for signs of life, the officers peered through the shattered glass and saw the driver. He had a slight gash on his forehead.

Officer Reanu kept in constant contact with the driver, assuring him help was on the way and everything was going to be OK.

Officer Deborah Reneau.

Officer Deborah Reneau.

Meanwhile, Officer McFarlin climbed up to the top of the overturned semi and attempted to gain access through the door. He couldn’t get it open as the impact had jammed the door shut. A passing motorist also joined in the effort to rescue the driver.

Within minutes, emergency medical services arrived and they were able to pull the driver to safety and transport him to nearby Coalinga Regional Medical Center.

Learn more about Avenal State Prison, https://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Facilities_Locator/ASP.html