Cleanup efforts were continuing Thursday in Sylmar, where a big rig slammed into a pillar supporting an overpass and overturned, killing one man and injuring another, while blocking much of the roadway through the morning rush hour.
According to the California Highway Patrol, the driver of the semi heading south on the Golden State (5) Freeway drifted to the left of the road and slammed into four attenuator barrels near the Foothill (210) Freeway connector, hit a guard rail and collided with the concrete bridge pillar around 11:45 p.m. Wednesday.
The impact of the crash shifted the truck’s load forward, trapping two people inside the cab, according to Nicholas Prange of the Los Angeles Fire Department.
The driver – a 51-year-old Visalia resident – was declared dead at the scene. His name was withheld pending family notification.
The other victim, Douglas Mark Coons, 61, of Porterville, was freed from the wreckage and taken in critical condition to Providence Holy Cross Hospital, according to the CHP said.
The truck was carrying grapes.
The number 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 lanes of the Golden State Freeway at the Foothill Freeway connector as well as the truck routes from the southbound 5 Freeway to the Foothill Freeway and the southbound Antelope Valley (14) Freeway to the southbound 5 Freeway were temporarily blocked, the CHP said.
All trucks were diverted to the eastbound Foothill Freeway. The only lanes opened after the crash were the carpool and the number 1 lane.
The CHP reopened the number 2 and 3 lanes at 4:32 a.m. and the number 4 lane at 7:39 a.m. All lanes on the freeway were reopened by 10:13 a.m.
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