Two people were airlifted to hospitals Tuesday night after a fiery big-rig crash involving two other vehicles on Interstate 10 in Montclair.
A woman driving a Mercedes on the freeway crashed into the rear of a big-rig hauling food in a refrigerator unit.The big-rig then hit a Nissan, and both of them crashed into the center divider. The truck flipped over, caught fire, and spilled diesel fuel all over the freeway.The truck driver and Mercedes driver were airlifted to hospitals. The entire freeway in both directions was closed for six hours.
The multi-vehicle freeway crash occurred at 11:12 p.m., according to a report in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
California Highway Patrol Jeff Briggs said the chain reaction started when a 1984 Mercedes Benz, driven by a 33-year-old Montclair woman, lost control for unknown reasons and crashed into a big-rig.
The impact caused the truck, which was hauling food in a refrigerator unit, to slide and hit a Nissan. Both the Nissan and the big-rig then crashed into the center divider, according to a KTLA News report. The truck flipped over onto its side and burst into flames.“Part of the refrigerator unit became dislodged, and it slid across lanes and spilled diesel on the freeway,” Briggs told the Tribune.
Witnesses saw explosions and several lanes of the freeway on fire. Emergency crews had to use the Jaws of Life to cut the Mercedes driver out of her vehicle. She was taken to Loma Linda University Medical Center. The truck driver was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, according to the Los Angeles Times. The Nissan driver did not report any injuries.
Both were airlifted by helicopter because the freeway was impassable, but their injuries were initially described as relatively minor. Updates on their conditions were not available.Meanwhile, hazardous materials units and several dozen firefighters from both Montclair and Los Angeles County firefighters responded to the scene to put out the fire and clean up the diesel fuel spill.“We did have to cut open the trailer and get the fire out that had started to spread into the trailer portion of the big rig,” Montclair fire Division Chief Pat McCutcheon said.