A double tanker truck caught fire on the southbound Long Beach (710) Freeway in Commerce Sunday morning, prompting the California Highway Patrol to close the freeway.
The call came in at 9:37 a.m. that a big rig had gone over the side of the freeway and exploded into flames, according to the CHP.
The CHP initially said a second truck was also on fire. But witnesses told KTLA 5 it appeared that only one truck was involved.
The truck driver was burned and suffered critical injuries, the Los Angeles County Fire Department said in a news conference Sunday afternoon.
The truck driver managed to get out of the big rig before rescue crews arrived, the fire department said.
A second person, believed to be on a street below, suffered moderate injuries, officials said.
The freeway was closed in both directions between Washington Boulevard and Interstate 5 for about 90 minutes as firefighters battled the flames, according to the CHP.
The northbound direction reopened at about 11:00 a.m., the CHP said.
All southbound lanes were closed until further notice, according to the CHP.
The cause of the crash was under investigation.