All southbound lanes of Antelope Valley (14) Freeway were shut down at about 10 a.m. Tuesday after a big rig collided with several cars, blocking the roadway.
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Nineteen vehicles were involved and 15 individuals were injured and taken to the hospital, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Two patients were in critical condition, the fire department said. Two additional patients were treated at the scene and released.
A triage area had been set up on the side of the freeway.
A big-rig truck towing two trailers of sand or dirt collided with multiple passenger cars, aerial video showed. At least nine cars were piled on top of each other in the roadway.
The crash occurred south of the Escondido Canyon Road exit in the Agua Dulce area (map), about 1 mile east of Vasquez Rocks county park. The roadway is immediately surrounded by largely undeveloped rural land.
The crash was reported at 9:42 a.m.
The California Highway Patrol's traffic website stated that 25 tons of sand were involved, and that passengers were trapped in their vehicles. Photos from the scene showed severe damage to vehicles, including a car, shown below, where seemingly every part of the vehicle was crushed except the driver's seat.
Officials on scene said that the big rig was going too fast while traveling around a curve. The truck was not far behind a CHP officer's patrol car, which was swerving back and forth to slow traffic create a break so that debris could be cleared from the roadway.
The big rig was unable to stop in time and rammed cars in front of it.
Aerial video showed multiple people being transported on gurneys and stretchers.
Traffic was backed up for several miles into Acton. Traffic was being directed off the freeway at Escondido Canyon Road.
As of 11:42 a.m., all cars between the exit and the crash site had been cleared off the freeway, the CHP website said. It was unknown when the collision site would be cleared.
At about noon, tow trucks were beginning to remove the first of nine heavily damaged vehicles that had crashed into and, in some cases, on top of each other.