Nine people were injured – three critically – early Monday morning when a big-rig crashed into a center divider on Interstate Highway 880 in San Leandro, sending concrete flying all over the roadway and causing many of the vehicles to burst into flames.
Alameda County firefighters said that all the patients were taken to local hospitals – one person had to be airlifted.[[275119291,C]]
According to the California Highway Patrol, the accident occurred about 3 a.m. near the Marina Boulevard exit. A Sig-Alert was issued about 30 minutes later. All southbound and northbound lanes were closed temporarily,and then reopened at various times throughout the morning. By 9:30 a.m., all lanes were open to drivers, who sat through the wee hours of the morning in nightmarish traffic.
"If my uncle had picked me up just five minutes earlier, I could have been in the accident or one of the eyewitnesses of the accident," Jeremy Daniels told NBC Bay Area from the side of the road, waiting to move in traffic. "It's really kind of scary."
CHP Officer Colton Kropp said it was actually a silver SUV that "initially lost control" just after 3 a.m. and hit a guardrail on the highway. The driver of a big rig carrying concrete couldn't stop in time, Kropp said, and ended up hitting the center divide, sending concrete flying.
That created a domino effect, Kropp said, where "10-plus" cars were involved, involving a Camry, a Chevrolet Malibu and "numerous other vehicles."[[275114101,C]]
Video shot at the scene shows many of the cars crumpled, flames shooting out from some of the cars and ambulances and a Cal-Star helicopter getting patients medical attention.
A co-worker said the big-rig driver worked for OC Jones and Sons, a major general engineering contractor out of Berkeley, which has paved Bay Area roads for 90 years.