Firefighters work the scene iof a deadly big rig crash on the 10 Freeway in… (Irfan Khan, Los Angeles…)
The 10 Freeway in Pomona was shut down in all directions Monday night after a crash and explosion involving a big rig and several vehicles that left at least one person dead and 10 injured.
Westbound lanes were open early Tuesday. All eastbound lanes remained shut as of 5 a.m., but cars were being allowed to use the center median to avoid the collision site, CHP Officer Patrick Kimball said.
The accident was reported in the eastbound lanes about 8:30 p.m. near Towne Avenue after the big rig collided with three or four vehicles, the California Highway Patrol said.
One of the vehicles was smashed under the big rig and exploded in flames, the CHP said.
Television news footage showed flames shooting out the back of the big rig.
The big rig was loaded with furniture and spilled about 100 gallons of diesel fuel on the freeway, the CHP said. As officers arrivedon the scene, they began diverting traffic off at Indian Hill Boulevard.
Victims were taken by helicopters to a hospital, the aircraft landing as firefighters were trying to knock down the flames, the Los Angeles County Fire Department said.
Four of the victims were in critical condition, authorities said.
The blaze was knocked down after burning for about 20 minutes, according to the CHP.
One witness told The Times that the “truck was on the right side of the road, burning, and occasionally an explosion could be heard.”
Four other vehicles were involved in a second accident in the area.
The CHP later reopened the westbound lanes but said the eastbound lanes were expected to be closed until early Tuesday morning. Traffic was jammed for several miles in both directions on the busy east-west artery.
Traffic officers began early Tuesday to allow eastbound traffic to use the center median. Morning commuters were urged to use the 60 or the 210 Freeways to avoid a traffic nightmare on the eastbound 10 through Pomona.