SHERMAN OAKS (CNS) - A motorist was killed early this morning when his SUV rear-ended a box truck and caught fire on the Ventura (101) Freeway in Sherman Oaks, and the truck driver was arrested on suspicion of DUI, authorities said.
The crash was reported at 1:50 a.m. on the eastbound Ventura Freeway at Van Nuys Boulevard, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The SUV's sole occupant, a 30- to 40-year-old man, died at the scene, said the Los Angeles Fire Department's Margaret Stewart.
Authorities withheld the name of the fatally injured man, who was from Ventura, pending notification of his relatives. There were no other patients, Stewart said.
The driver of the truck, identified as 29-year-old Michael Snee of Beverly Hills, was booked on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, according to the CHP and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. He was held on $15,000 bail.
According to the CHP, an arriving officer found the Freightliner box truck stopped in the No. 4 lane of the freeway with the SUV partially beneath the larger vehicle, and as the officer approached the wreckage, the SUV caught fire.
The officer put out the flames with a fire extinguisher, but the driver died, the CHP reported.
“A DUI investigation was conducted on Michael Snee and he was placed under arrest for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs,'' the CHP reported. “The sequence of events in the collision are still under investigation.
A CHP officer at the scene told FOX11 that the box truck had stopped in the No. 4 lane with what the truck driver claimed were mechanical issues. Some freeway lanes were blocked in the area while an investigation was conducted into the crash.
Anyone with information on the crash was urged to call the CHP West Valley Area office at 818-888-0980.
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