A collision involving two big rigs and a sedan killed one person and triggered a traffic nightmare early Thursday on westbound Interstate 580 in unincorporated Alameda County, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The collision was first reported around 4:20 a.m. just east of Eden Canyon Road near Castro Valley. The Alameda County Fire Department said 12 units, including three ambulances, were sent to the scene where a vehicle was sandwiched between the two trucks.
Officials said the driver of a black sedan clipped a big rig, prompting the truck driver to lose control of his steering. The truck became disabled and got stuck in the middle of the roadway. Both drivers were OK at this point.
Roughly five minutes later, however, another truck came down I-580 and smashed into the back of the trailer of the first rig. CHP officers said it appears that the driver might have pushed the brakes, but it wasn't enough.
He was crushed in his cab and killed.
A Sig-alert was issued at 4:24 a.m. because westbound I-580 was blocked.
Before 5:30 a.m., the CHP was allowing drivers off the Eden Canyon Road off-ramp so they could get back onto I-580 at the next on-ramp. Cars were moving in a slow-moving single file.
Lanes 3 and 4 were reopened later in the morning, but the other two are likely to remain closed till 2:30 p.m., the CHP said. The lanes eventually reopened just before 3 p.m.
Caltrans spent hours cleaning up the mess created by the crash. One of the big rigs could not be moved until its cargo had been offloaded and hauled away.
Major delays were expected and drivers were advised to use alternate routes.
A commuter told NBC Bay Area that he had spent four hours behind the wheel, trying to get from Tracy to Castro Valley. It took another driver five hours to travel from Livermore to Castro Valley.
The accident caused a hazmat situation, the details of which are unclear. It has since been contained.
The CHP is investigating the crash.