A fiery fatal crash reduced Interstate 5 to one lane Tuesday morning, while emergency responders and California Highway Patrol officials manage the scene.
The closure is expected to last for a “minimum of four hours,” according to Newhall Station CHP Officer John Lutz, who spoke with KHTS at approximately 11 a.m.
The crash took place at 6 a.m. Tuesday, when a vehicle near the right shoulder of the southbound I-5 freeway was struck by
A 2005 Volvo tractor trailer driven by Jose Gomez, 55, of Hesperia, collided with a 2003 Freightliner big rig, according to a CHP traffic report.
“At this time, it is unknown why the driver of the Freightliner allowed Gomez to drift onto the right shoulder and collide with (the big rig),” according to the initial CHP report taken on the scene by Officer John Lutz. “As a result of the collision, both vehicles became fully engulfed in flames.”
The weather was listed as clear and dry at the time, according to the collision report.
“The driver of the Freightliner was able to extricate himself from the cab of (his truck) and attempted to escape the flames to safety, crawling under the trailer of (the big rig),” according to the report.
However, the collision and intense fire compromised the structural in integrity of the trailer, collapsing the rear portion of the trailer and pinning the driver of the Freightliner underneath his vehicle.
CHP and L. A. County Fire Department personnel responded to the scene, but the driver of the Freightliner succumbed to his injuries and died shortly thereafter.
Identification, as well as next-of-kin notification, will be made by the L.A. County Coroner’s Office. Gomez was treated on scene and subsequently transported to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital for minor injuries.
The center divider and No. 1 lane were opened for traffic at 7:30 a.m., however, the other lane closures are expected to last until at least 3 p.m. according to CHP officers.
The crash is still under investigation by California Highway Patrol Officer J. Escobar.
Anyone with information regarding the crash is asked to call the Newhall CHP office at 661-294-5545.