A bus crashed into several vehicles and went through the center median of the San Diego (405) Freeway in the heart of the San Fernando Valley Sunday, injuring 40 people — five of them seriously.
A total of 25 people were taken out via ambulances, many to Olive View Hospital in Sylmar. The CHP reported that some were bleeding.
Serious injuries were treated on three women, ages 49, 60 and 88, as well as two men, ages 30 and 69, said Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department. Six other patients were in fair condition with minor injuries.
“The ‘serious’ condition classification is due to the severity of damage to the vehicles and potential unseen injuries,” she said.
Fifteen minutes after the crash, fire trucks were reportedly stuck in traffic, trying to get past clogged traffic en route to the multiple crashes on the 405 Freeway near Nordhoff Street.
Video showed a white charter bus, marked “Transit Systems,” splayed sideways across the southbound 405. Its skid marks indicate it had apparently gone sideways on the northbound 405 and then through the median wall.
Its front end was crumpled and emergency window exits were popped open, on aerial video shot by ABC7.
A white SUV crossover vehicle was next to it, it had extensive front end damage.
At least one crashed vehicle was on the northbound side. Cement debris was spotted on the 12-lane freeway as well.
The crash was at 1:01 p.m., said California Highway Patrol Officer Peter Nicholson. A SigAlert was issued at 1:07 p.m. as all lanes were closed. By 2:30 p.m., northbound lanes had been reopened.
But motorists were frustrated by the nearly-two hour southbound freeway closure. CHP units were warned that impatient drivers were turning around on the southbound 405 lanes and exiting via the Devonshire Boulevard onramp, to get off the jammed freeway.
Other people abandoned their vehicles and walked off the freeway, apparently seeking toilets or drinks.