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Big Rig Topples over on 5 Fwy in San Clemente

September 18th ─ Caltrans and hazardous materials workers spent over 10 hours cleaning up produce and gallons of diesel fuel that had spilled out of a big rig semi-trailer when it toppled over closing 2 northbound lanes of the San Diego 5 Freeway in San Clemente late Sunday evening. The crash was reported to California Highway Patrol shortly after 9:00 p.m. near the Avenida Pico on-ramp. CHP dispatcher reported that a commercial big rig semi-trailer had possibly clipped the side of a guardrail, causing it to lose control, and overturn. A witness said smoke was coming from the tires prior to the rollover. Luckily no other vehicles were involved in the incident. The driver of the big rig was not injured, and the cause of the crash was under investigation. Lanes 3 and 4 of the San Diego 5 Freeway were shut down as Caltrans workers repaired 60 to 80 feet of damaged guardrail as well as collect loads of tomatoes and green peppers that scattered across the freeway. Hazardous materials crews and officials from an Orange County health department, U.S. Coast Guard, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife responded to the scene to help minimize any impact from the nearly 150 gallons that had gone down a storm drain. Crews at the scene attempted to get the big rig on its wheels. The closure was expected to last through at least 9 a.m. On Monday morning, the CHP extended the SigAlert until 12:00 p.m.

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