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A San Diego police detective, who was off duty, hit the rear end of a semi-truck on the southbound Interstate 15 in Kensington this morning, The San Diego Union-Tribune reports. The accident happened around 5:15 a.m. on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 north of El Cajon Boulevard. The detective had been traveling to work in a city-owned van, and according to the news story, the man took his eyes off the road for a moment, and when he turned to look back at the road, he saw a slow truck immediately in front of him, California Highway Patrol Officer Art Athans said.

The detective was not able to stop, and rear-ended the back of the semi. The van he was driving then veered off the road, up an embankment, struck a tree, then traveled back down the slope. The van then caught fire, according to CHP and fire officials.

The truck driver, who probably did not know a collision had happened, didn’t stop, Officer Athans said. The three right lanes of southbound I-15 were blocked for a time with the damaged van, a fire engine, ambulance, and patrol cars, The Union-Tribune reports. Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire quickly.

The off-duty detective suffered minor injuries. Responders took him to a hospital where he was treated for the gash on his head. He was then released.

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