Fiery Big Rig Crash Shuts Down 5 Freeway

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ATWATER VILLAGE, Calif. (KTLA) — A fiery solo big rig created a traffic nightmare on the 5 Freeway in Atwater Village Tuesday morning.

The accident happened around 4:15 a.m. just south of the interchange with the 2 Freeway, and it shut down the 5 Freeway in both directions for hours.

rig-pic-2“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,” CHP Sgt. Mike Alvarez said.

The driver of the big rig was able to escape before the truck caught fire, and he walked away uninjured.

Heavy-duty tow trucks removed the cab and trailer from the crash site just before 7 a.m., as Caltrans crews worked to clean up debris and fuel that spilled in the crash.

Northbound traffic was stopped at Stadium Way, while southbound traffic was being diverted off the freeway at Fletcher.

Both directions of the 5 were reopened around 7:45 a.m., but the backup was extensive.

The cause of the accident is now under investigation.

The driver told KTLA that a mechanical problem caused him to crash. The CHP said they were looking at the possibility that the driver dozed off before the crash.

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  • Rockina2

    1070 AM quoted a CHP officer that said he was in the #2 lane and the brakes locked up. Of course Sigalert also showed one lane open in both directions when in fact they were not.

  • Tori

    This had to have happened closer to 3:20-3:30am because I was stuck 5 cars from the front of where the police stopped traffic and we were stopped for about a half an hour before they directed us off the freeway.