An early morning accident shut down Interstate 10 more than five and a half hours Tuesday. Some lanes remained closed for more than ten hours. The major California truck accident involved three big rigs and a passenger vehicle. The four vehicle pile-up occurred near a construction zone on I-10. Three people suffered injuries and had to be airlifted to an area hospital for treatment.
A construction crew temporarily blocked off traffic during the early morning hours to perform road maintenance. Construction workers were setting up safety cones around 2:30 in the morning. The driver of a Honda stopped in the traffic lane to allow the maintenance crew to place the cones. Two big rigs formed a line behind the Honda.
As the three vehicles waited, a third big rig approached from behind, but was unable to stop. The big rig slammed into the trailing Freightliner starting a chain reaction crash involving the other three vehicles on the roadway.
The stopped Freightliner that took up the rear of the line of stopped vehicles became sandwiched between the other two big rigs. Emergency crews had to cut the two occupants of the sandwiched rig from the wreckage.
The driver of the sandwiched rig and a passenger in the freighter suffered personal injuries requiring hospitalization in the crash. The driver of the rig that was unable to stop also was injured and had to be hospitalized. The three were flown to Desert Regional medical Center in Palm Springs for treatment of injuries ranging from moderate to severe. The driver of the Honda suffered injuries in the wreck and was treated at the scene of the crash.
A hazardous materials team was called in to clean up a fuel spill. Roughly 20 to 30 gallons of diesel and ten gallons of oil spilled onto the highway during the truck accident.
Source: KESQ, "Big Rig Accident Shuts Down Westbound Interstate 10," 15 Mar 2011
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