A 43-year-old man was killed 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, a resident of Pinole, was pronounced dead at the scene by the Novato Fire Department after the 6:45 a.m. crash, the CHP said.
The driver of the big rig, an empty tanker truck, had pulled over onto the 18-foot-wide shoulder of the freeway to rest, and was asleep in the cab when the Giovannoli's 2012 white Dodge Ram pickup went off the road at a curve and plowed into the side of the tanker trailer. 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 CHP Officer Andrew Barclay.
Alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the crash, according to investigators. Giovannoli did not brake or try to evade the crash, leading to speculation that he may have fallen asleep at the wheel. Traffic was light at that time of the morning, and continued to flow after the accident, Officer Barclay said.