A big-rig crash on the 5 Freeway in the Dana Point area left several people injured and shut down all southbound lanes Thursday afternoon, according to the California Highway Patrol.
An 18-wheeler was traveling northbound on the freeway when it crossed the center divider and entered the southbound lanes, CHP said in an online incident report.
The collision occurred around 12:15 p.m. just north of the Camino De Estrella off-ramp (map). At least five vehicles were involved in the crash, with one vehicle stuck under another car, the incident report stated.
Debris and demolished car parts littered the freeway as emergency helicopters landed at the scene, leaving traffic backed up for miles, aerial video showed.
Nine people — including two toddlers, 1 and 3 years old — were hospitalized for injuries, according to Orange County Fire Authority spokesperson Lynette Round.
Sky5 video showed firefighters wheeling multiple victims on gurneys into ambulances and helicopters.
By 4 p.m., all lanes on the freeway had been reopened.