3 killed in fiery crash that shuts down I-5

first_img“One of the things hampering us is the continuing fire,” said Will Kempton, director of the California Department of Transportation. “Our goal is to get the roadway open as quickly as possible.” The intensity of the fire prevented authorities from entering the tunnel until Saturday afternoon. They recovered the bodies of two victims, but said they might find more bodies as they explore the charred wreckage in the 550-foot-long tunnel. “This is going to take a long time,” said Warren Stanley, head of the California Highway Patrol. “We have to work very slowly and methodically.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SANTA CLARITA – A fiery chain-reaction crash of more than a dozen cars and tractor-trailers in the Newhall Pass tunnel closed Interstate 5 indefinitely Saturday, killing at least three motorists and injuring 10 others. The crash at 10:41 p.m. Friday involved about a half-dozen tractor-trailers and several cars that barreled down the dark, rain-slick highway and into the concrete tunnel, setting off a thunderous series of explosions and a fire that shot flames 100 feet into the air, authorities said. “I could hear trucks hitting – bang, bang, bang – and I got out,” Tony Brazil, a motorist who managed to escaped the inferno, told KCBS-TV. “It looked like a bomb went off” said Los Angeles County firefighter Scott Clark, one of about 300 firefighters who battled the stubborn blaze overnight. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.After the crash, about 20 people managed run out of the tunnel, including the 10 who were hurt. They were treated at local hospitals, most for burns and neck and back injuries. Traffic backed up for miles along the stretch of the Golden State Freeway that carries an average of 269,000 motorists each day. Streams of tractor-trailers and cars poured off on-ramps against traffic after being stuck for hours on the freeway, clogging the surface streets in suburban Santa Clarita. Enrico Servito, 53, of Vallejo was driving his wife to a 1 p.m. seminar in Los Angeles when they got caught up in the miles-long backup. After crawling in traffic for hours, they got off the freeway and stopped to rest at the Denny’s restaurant in Santa Clarita. “I’m more concerned about the crash,” Servito said. “We have somewhere to go, but we have to think of people in dire consequences.” Officials said they hope to reopen the southbound lanes sometime Tuesday morning, but could not estimate when motorists will again be able to use the northbound side of the freeway – or the critical truck route. last_img read more