A fiery big rig accident caused a complete highway shutdown snarling traffic for miles in both directions early Tuesday morning in Atwater Village.

According to reports from the California Highway Patrol, the crash took place at around 4:15 a.m. on the 5 Freeway just south of the 2 Freeway interchange, where a big rig slammed into the highway’s center divider and caught fire.

“For an unknown reason, it appears the driver allowed the vehicle to drift from the no. 3 lane of the southbound 5 and then collide into the center divider,” said CHP officer Mike Alvarez. Fortunately, the driver of the truck was able to exit the vehicle and walk to safety before the truck burst into flames.

Firefighters were called to the scene to put out the flames and allow for Caltrans workers to clear away the debris of the accident. Just before 7 a.m. heavy-duty tow trucks were able to pull the cab and trailer off the highway while crews cleared away debris and spilled fuel.

At this time the cause of the accident is still being determined. The driver of the truck reportedly told investigators that a mechanical failure led to the accident, through the CHP is looking into the possibility that the driver may have fallen asleep just before the crash took place.

Northbound lanes of the 5 were shutdown at Stadium Way, while traffic from the south was being diverted of the freeway at Fletcher, leading to substantial morning traffic in both directions. All lanes were reopened by 7:45 a.m., through the backup lasted throughout the morning, frustrating commuters looking to get to work.

It is fortunate that no other vehicles were involved in the crash, as accidents between passenger vehicles and big rigs often inflict serious damage on smaller vehicles. If reports of drowsy driving are confirmed, then the driver becomes even more fortunate that the accident did not cause serious harm to him or others on the road.

If you or someone you know has been hurt in an accident with a trailer truck such as this, you should seek help. Depending on the circumstances that led to your ordeal, you may be entitled to compensation from those at fault to help you mend the damages that you have suffered.

At AA Accident Attorneys, our team of experienced Los Angeles accident lawyers can guide you through the legal process and get you the results you need. We can carefully explain your options and assemble the strongest case to help you back onto your feet quickly.

As always, we will charge you nothing for our legal services until your case is won. Call our truck accident lawyers today for a free evaluation and to learn what we can do to help you!