The infamous heavy Los Angeles morning traffic was heavier than usual Tuesday morning. A fiery big-rig crash on the 5 Freeway near Elysian Park in Silverlake forced authorities to shut down all freeway lanes in both directions at the site of the sudden explosion.
The accident happened at around 3:15 a.m. south of the Glendale (2) Freeway. The big rig trailer was heading southbound on the 5 freeway when it crashed into the center divider.
“My trailer tires just locked. I tried to control it and I can’t,” the driver said. At that point sparks from the crash and other events led to the fiery outcome.
Sgt. Mike Alvarez told CBS Local that “The cab of the big rig became fully engulfed. The driver was able to extricate himself without any injuries.” He had made a recent delivery to drop off a load of wine and his big rig was empty.
Officer Ed Jacobs of the California Highway Patrol told the LA Times Blog that there were no reports of injuries in the incident. ABC Local stated that there was another driver traveling northbound that hit some debris that managed to fly over the divider from the big rig wreck. The driver suffered a case of sudden fright and there was minor damage to the car.
At the aftermath of the scene were officials, cleanup crews, newscasters and three large tow trucks.
It was an event that few Angelinos and visitors expected in the morning prior to work. Those that did not know about the incident found themselves in a longer-than-usual bind. Reports stated that traffic was backed up for miles in both directions because of the of the freeway closure. The freeway was closed for four hours as authorities took note of what happened, investigated the incident, controlled the site and crews cleared the mess.
Authorities worked to reduce the heavily congested roads and keep the traffic moving elsewhere. They diverted traffic off the freeway at Fletcher Drive on the southbound side and at Stadium Way on the northbound side, officials said. Jacobs urged drivers to use an alternate route.
“You don’t want to go in that area in general,” he said. “It will affect traffic through the morning commute.”
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