UPDATE: 3:15 p.m. Saturday, Feb.16, 2013.
The driver killed in an early morning crash on Highway 101 Saturday has been identified as 43-year-old Pinole resident Christopher Giovannoli, according to the Coroner's Division of the Marin County Sheriff’s Office.
Giovannoli was pronounced dead inside his pick-up truck at the scene at 6:53 a.m. Saturday, according to Sheriff's Lt. Keith Boyd.
UPDATE: 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb.16, 2013.
California Highway Patrol officers are in the process of locating next of kin of the 43-year-old man killed in a crash with a big rig parked on the side of U.S. Highway 101 in Novato this morning.
CHP Officer Andrew Barclay said the man's name would be released as soon as the next of kin are notified.
The man was driving his Dodge Ram pickup truck north on Highway 101 near the Atherton Avenue on-ramp in Novato when for unknown reasons, he went off the roadway and slammed into the back of a parked tank trailer.
Emergency responders attended to the pickup truck driver, who was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the big rig had pulled over onto the side of the roadway and was sleeping in the rig's sleeper berth when the crash occurred and was uninjured.
CHP investigators do not believe alcohol was a factor in the crash. Since the crash occurred on a wide shoulder off of the roadway, there was only a minimal effect on traffic.
--Bay City News Service and Patch editor Keri Brenner contributed to this report.
ORIGINAL STORY, 7:15 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013.
A man died Saturday morning when his pickup truck slammed into the back of a tanker rig parked on the right shoulder of Highway 101 just north of Novato, sources said.
The man was pronounced dead at the scene, said Novato Fire District Battalion Chief Gerald McCarthy. The tanker driver, who had been asleep in the cab, was uninjured.
Alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the crash, California Highway Patrol officer Andrew Barclay said.
The crash site was in the northbound lanes about halfway between the Atherton Avenue exit and the Redwood Landfill on a stretch commonly known as the Narrows. It is a section of the highway that makes a gentle bend to the left for northbound vehicles, and where there is an extra-wide paved shoulder plus additional gravel.
Barclay said a 2012 Dodge pickup truck collided with the back of the parked tanker at about 6:40 a.m. The tanker was parked 18 feet to the right of the slow lane.
"This (pickup) traveled well off the roadway and collided with the tanker, so it was not as if the rig was right next to traffic," Barclay said. "... We did not have to clear any lanes (of debris) because it was so far off the roadway."
Marin County coroner's office personnel arrived at the site at about 7:40 a.m., McCarthy said.
McCarthy said a Novato Fire medical crew arrived within 4 minutes of the first report of the crash. "They did their best to render care but the individual had expired upon their arrival," he said.
An airbag on the pickup had deployed, he said. Firefighters removed the pickup's driver-side door to give investigators better access to the interior, he added.
The unpressurized tanker had offloaded several thousands of gallons of beer hours earlier, McCarthy said.
The dead man's identity will be revealed later after the family is notified, Barclay said. A Novato firefighter said he appeared to be in his 30s.
Traffic backed up and the right lane was briefly closed for emergency vehicle access, Barclay said.
The Novato Narrows is a section of 101 that gradually gets tightened from four lanes to two lanes. It is not uncommon for big rig drivers to pull over and stop at the extra-wide shoulder on the northbound side, McCarthy said.
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