All lanes of eastbound state Route 78 in Vista were shut down for more than an hour Tuesday morning after a series of crashes left two drivers hurt, one with major injuries and one with minor injuries, authorities said.

The first crash, involving a Volkswagen Beetle, happened around 4:45 a.m. on eastbound state Route 78 near Vista Village Drive, California Highway Patrol Officer Mark Latulippe said.

The Volkswagen crashed into the center divider and ended up blocking several lanes on the eastbound freeway.

A short time later, a Toyota SUV struck the Volkswagen, then a Ford pickup hit the Volkswagen, Latulippe said.

A fourth crash, involving a Nissan sedan and a Ford SUV, occurred nearby, but those vehicles did not strike any of the first three, the officer said.

A SigAlert was issued shutting down all lanes around 5 a.m. and officers began directing all motorists to exit at Melrose Drive.

The Nissan driver, a 36-year-old man, was taken to Palomar Medical Center for treatment of major injuries and the Toyota driver, a 49-year-old woman, was taken to Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside to be evaluated for a complaint of pain, Latulippe said.

By 6:30 a.m., all lanes were reopened and the SigAlert was canceled.

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