The CHP said speed and inattention are to blame for a fatal crash on Interstate 5 in Glenn County early Wednesday.
According to police 47-year-old John Braden of McArthur was killed in the crash.
The collision happened at 4:10 a.m. on southbound Interstate 5 just north of the Highway 32 exit in Orland.
Braden was driving a Volkswagen Jetta when he slammed into the back of of a big rig. Braden was pronounced dead at the scene.
The CHP said a big rig being driven by 55-year-old Kathy Johnson of Dunlap, Tenn., was in the right lane traveling at approximately 50 mph. Braden approached from behind at a high rate of speed and collided with the big rig. The sedan became wedged under the back of the trailer.
"They were both going in the same direction and to have the vehicle lodged underneath the vehicle, he was at a high rate of speed," said Officer Tracey Hoover from the California Highway Patrol. "Our officers don't know what speed, at this time, but somehow he became distracted and rear ended the back of the big rig."
Laura Leard, 48, of Grass Valley, Calif., was a passenger in the big rig. Neither of the women in the big rig were injured.
The speed limit in the area is 70 miles per hour.
The right lane was closed as crews worked to clear the wreckage.
The wreckage was cleared a couple of hours later.