LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Much of a major interchange southeast of Los Angeles was marked for a closure all day, as engineers tried to salvage a bridge- widening project that fell and killed the driver who crashed into it.
At 8:30 a.m., Caltrans officials told the CHP to expect the northbound Santa Ana (5) Freeway to be closed from the Atlantic Boulevard exit north towards Los Angeles for at least 12 hours. The northbound 5 has been closed at the interchange with the Long Beach (710) Freeway since the 2 a.m. crash.
Numerous steel beams rained down onto the freeway when the driver of a red Dodge Magnum crashed into temporary supports for a widened 710 overpass. The driver was killed immediately, and the passenger suffered major injuries, California Highway Patrol Officer Monica Posada said.
There were apparently no other cars hit on the 5, and the new 710 deck had not yet been completed.
But beams fell onto the northbound 5, and the unusual center median ramps from the north 5 to the north 710, and the south 710 to the south 5. Those links were all blocked.
Southbound traffic on the 5, and the major ramp from the north 710 to north 5, were not affected.
The brunt of the traffic problems today were on the north 5 and surface streets in the area of the Citadel Factory Outlets. Caltrans activated freeway signs in Orange County urging motorists heading towards Los Angeles to use the westbound Artesia (91) Freeway instead.
A videographer at the scene counted approximately a dozen steel I-beams around the vehicle.
Posted by Amy King