It was early on a weekday morning, a little less than an hour before sunrise. Off to the side of Interstate 5, just south of Bakersfield, a Tranquility man's Jeep Cherokee had run out of gas. A 27-year-old Fresno resident had pulled his car on to the right freeway shoulder to help get the Jeep refueled.
Everyone in Bakersfield knows that Interstate 5 is a fast-moving maze of passenger vehicles and 18-wheelers. The big rigs hauling goods to and from Southern California's cities and farms are important to the economy, but they are also the most dangerous vehicles on the roads, as a recent tragedy near Gorman showed.