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Truck Fire Causes Huge Traffic Jam

August 17, 1995

An 18-wheel truck hauling peaches south of Santa Clarita caught fire early Wednesday, triggering a massive traffic jam on both the Golden State and Antelope Valley freeways during the morning commute.

The incident occurred shortly after 5 a.m., south of the Clarence Wayne Dean Interchange that joins the freeways.

A fire apparently ignited in the truck's brake system and spread through the rest of the vehicle, according to Officer Wendy Moore of the California Highway Patrol. No one was injured in the accident.

Although the scorched vehicle was in the truck lanes, the resulting overflow traffic clogged the regular highway lanes for hours, backing up thousands of cars for at least three miles on both the southbound Golden State and Antelope Valley freeways. Traffic advisories were in effect along the route until shortly after noon.

"We had to shut down the truck lane so the driver could off-load his peaches," said Moore. "What happens is you get that many more trucks onto the normal lanes of traffic."

Even after the obstruction was cleared, drivers slowed to get a look at the truck's burnt hulk.

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