The 101 Freeway in Agoura Hills was reopened early Friday after motorists reported seeing firecrackers being thrown onto the road the previous evening, spurring an hourslong closure, the California Highway Patrol said.
Around 7:30 p.m., officers began receiving reports of possible fireworks being deployed from from the Palo Comado/Chesebro freeway overpass, a CHP news release stated.
One of the callers was an off-deputy deputy, who witnessed a small explosion as he was driving on the 101. He went to the bridge to investigate, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Lost Hills Station said in a Facebook post.
The off-duty deputy immediately dialed 911 after observing a suspicious device on the overpass.
Sheriff’s personnel responded and found “a possible incendiary device and explosion from the midpoint of the bridge,” according to the CHP release.
Initially, the freeway was closed around 9 p.m., but it was temporarily reopened less than 30 minutes later.
Then a sheriff’s bomb squad was dispatched to the scene, and all lanes of the 101 Freeway were shut down in the area about 10:20 p.m., officials said.
Around 12:15 a.m. Friday, the bomb squad destroyed the incendiary device.
All lanes were reopened about an hour later after Caltrans inspected the bridge for structural damage and deemed it safe.
The incident remains under investigation by a sheriff’s arson unit. No additional details were immediately released.
With the Fourth of July on Sunday, the Lost Hills Station reminded everyone that fireworks are illegal in Westlake Village, Calabasas, Hidden Hills and Malibu, as well as all unincorporated areas of L.A. County, and that authorities will be strictly enforcing fireworks laws.”
“Our communities are in dry mountainous areas, creating a high fire zone. Leave the fireworks to the professionals and stay safe,” the Sheriff’s Department said.