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Freeway Pileup Closes 3 Lanes; 4 Men Injured

July 18, 1998|HOLLY J. WOLCOTT

Four men suffered minor injuries Friday morning during a five-vehicle crash on the northbound Ventura Freeway between Lynn and Ventu Park roads in Thousand Oaks, the California Highway Patrol reported.

The pileup closed three of the four lanes for more than an hour, officers said. The backup was estimated to be more than two miles, with many cars forced to exit at Westlake Boulevard.

Three of the injured, Miguel A. Morales and Jose M. Torres, both 34 and from Los Angeles, and 37-year-old Javier Bernal of North Hollywood, were treated at Los Robles Regional Medical Center in Thousand Oaks and released.

The fourth man, Brian White, 38, of Northridge, told police he would seek his own medical treatment, CHP Officer Steven Reid said.

The pileup occurred about 8:40 a.m. when a red car changed lanes and apparently came too close to the front of a Dodge pickup truck hauling a small cement mixer, Reid said.

Dodge driver Jose Martin Ayala Garcia braked but struck the rear of the car, causing his mixer to overturn, Reid said. Meanwhile, three other vehicles in adjacent lanes braked and then collided.

The red car left the scene, Reid said. Police received a telephone call later from a woman who said she owned a red car that was damaged in a crash. Officers were investigating whether the caller was a victim or suspect, Reid said.

California Department of Transportation employees cleaned up the spilled cement, Reid said. Three of the five vehicles had major damage, he added.

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