NOVATO -- A Pinole resident died early Saturday morning when his pickup truck slammed into a big rig parked on the shoulder of northbound Highway 101 just past Atherton Avenue in an area commonly known as "the Novato narrows," the California Highway Patrol reported.

Christopher Giovannoli, 43, was pronounced dead at the scene by the Novato Fire Department just after the 6:45 a.m. crash, the CHP said.

Giovannoli was driving his 2012 white Dodge Ram pickup when he went off the road at a curve and plowed into the rear of an empty tanker trailer, CHP officer Andrew Barclay said.

The driver of the big rig had pulled over onto the 18-foot-wide shoulder of the freeway to rest, and was asleep in the cab when the pickup hit.

The driver of the big rig was unhurt. After being awakened by the impact of the crash, he leaped out of his cab, checked to make sure there was no fire and called 911. He was not carrying any hazardous materials, according to Barclay.

Alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the crash, according to investigators. The driver of the pickup apparently did not brake or try to evade the crash, leading to speculation that he may have fallen asleep at the wheel.

The Marin Independent Journal contributed to this report. Contact Katie Nelson at 925-945-4780 or follow her at Twitter.com/katienelson210.



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