Propane Tanker Crash Snarls Traffic on 5 Freeway

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SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. (KTLA) — A multi-vehicle crash involving a propane tanker snarled traffic on the southbound 5 Freeway near San Clemente on Friday.

The chain-reaction crash happened shortly after 7 a.m. about two miles south of Basilone Road, according to the California Highway Patrol.

It involved four other vehicles, in addition to the tanker, and led to a fuel spill across the lanes.

The incident began when a 52-year-old man driving his 2006 Freightliner pulling a 99 Cent Store trailer was unable to stop before colliding with a propane tanker truck as he approached a commercial inspection facility, according to the CHP.

The collision caused the propane truck to be pushed into a flat bed truck and two box trucks who were waiting in line to enter the scale facility.

The driver of one of the box trucks suffered a cut to his head and was transported to Mission Hospital in Orange County.  The other drivers complained of pain but were not transported, officials said.

All the southbound lanes were closed for a time. The far left lane and the shoulder were reopened to traffic after 9:30 a.m. The rest of the freeway reopened at 11:30 a.m., according to the CHP.

Hazardous materials crews were called in to clean up the fuel spill. The traffic backup from the closure was extensive.

Investigators said they do not believe alcohol or drugs were a factor in the crash.

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