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Spilled Pipes Snarl Traffic

Trucker arrested after his vehicle flips on an Anaheim connector.

August 05, 2003|Ashley Powers | Times Staff Writer

A truck driver was arrested Monday on suspicion of driving under the influence after his flatbed tractor-trailer truck tipped over on the connector ramp between the Riverside and Costa Mesa freeways, spilling 35,000 pounds of PVC pipes and snarling the morning commute, the California Highway Patrol said.

Santa Ana CHP Officer Colleen Richardson said Stephen Walborn, 26, of Ontario may have taken methamphetamine before his tractor-trailer crashed at 5:11 a.m. in Anaheim, spilling the pipes onto surrounding cars, briefly catching fire and closing both freeways.

The results of a blood test are pending, Richardson said.

Walborn, a driver for Kerr Trucking Inc. in Fontana, was treated and released for a fractured back at Placentia Linda Hospital, officials there said. No other injuries were reported.

The accident occurred as Walborn drove from the northbound Costa Mesa Freeway to the westbound Riverside Freeway to deliver the pipes in Anaheim. As the truck rounded a curve at 50 to 58 mph, the trailer struck a bridge abutment and flipped on its right side.

Several hundred white drainage pipes tumbled onto the Riverside Freeway, striking three cars, and the northbound Costa Mesa Freeway, hitting one car, Richardson said.

The tractor then tipped, injuring Walborn, who was not wearing a seat belt, according to a CHP report. The rear of the trailer and its tires caught fire but the flames were quickly extinguished, Richardson said.

Both sides of the Riverside Freeway reopened by 6:30 a.m. , and the eastbound 91 Express Lanes reopened about 8:30 a.m., Richardson said. The connector ramp reopened about 10:30 a.m.

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