What could have been a tragedy was merely a major inconvenience Monday when a concrete truck tipped over on its side on one of Rancho Santa Margarita's most-traveled streets.
The huge vehicle, loaded with concrete and laying on its side, shut down southbound Las Flores between Santa Margarita Parkway and El Portal after tipping over at about 11 a.m.
The driver, possibly suffering a broken back, was taken to Mission Hospital.
Diesel fuel spilled from the vehicle, as did some of its wet concrete, but Orange County Fire Authority "did a great job of stopping it to prevent anything from getting into the storm drains," said Lt. Brian Schmutz, chief of police services in RSM.
After the truck was righted, the City finished the cleanup of what little concrete had spilled onto the roadway.
The driver may have taken the corner too fast, the centrifugal force causing the high-profile vehicle to fall on its side. "That's a possibility," Schmutz said. "One of the possible causes is driver error, but it's still under investigation. We just don't know right now."
The police chief added everyone was fortunate that it was a single-vehicle event.
"Had it fallen on another car," Schmutz said, "it would have crushed it."
The 9-1-1 call was made at 11:05 a.m.