Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

A fiery crash involving two big rigs and multiple passenger vehicles Tuesday killed one person and injured nine others, one critically.

The Golden State (5) Freeway in both directions was shut down in the Los Feliz area, causing massive traffic backups for miles.

The crash, which was reported at Los Feliz Boulevard about 10:55 a.m., sparked a roaring fire as debris scattered across the northbound freeway lanes.

According to a preliminary report, a pickup truck that was northbound on the freeway went out of control, crashed into a vehicle and crossed over the center divider and either collided with or caused a southbound big rig to crash and catch fire, said Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department. Two big rigs were involved in the wreck on the southbound side of the freeway along with at least two other vehicles, including one that wound up wedged under one of the big rigs.

Firefighters and paramedics established a triage area at the site. Fire officials said there were nine injuries, one critical, but most of the other injuries “relatively minor,” Humphrey said.

It wasn’t immediately known which vehicle the person who died was in.

Both sides of the freeway were closed while an investigation was conducted. Shortly after noon, two northbound slow lanes were reopened to allow traffic through, but they could be closed again to accommodate crews working to clear the scene, the California Highway Patrol reported.

Other lanes likely will remain closed for much of the afternoon, however, signaling a potentially nightmarish afternoon commute.

—City News Service

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