(February 19, 2006) -- In just moments, a quiet Sunday morning on the 405 freeway near the L.A. river turned into a horrific multi-vehicle wreck involving two vehicles, a big-rig truck and both sides of the freeway, leaving one man dead and his wife injured.
The following is based on a CHP release.
At roughly 7:47 a.m. in weather CHP reported as raining, a 1982 Chevy blazer driven by a Santa Ana area man (age 80 or 81, conflicting info) with his wife as passenger (age 76) was in the 405 freeway's "high occupancy vehicle" (carpool) lane south of L.A. river and headed northbound.
A 2006 Pontiac driven by a 40 year-old man was traveling southbound.
A big rig truck, driven by a 34 year old man, was also southbound.
"For an unknown reason (possibly rain/weather related)," CHP says the driver of the northbound Blazer lost control, crashed into the center divider...and went into southbound lanes and collided with the Pontiac.
The Pontiac and Blazer then both collided with the big rig truck...which went out of control before colliding into the center divider and traveling across all of the 405 freeway's northbound lanes.
The awful accident triggered a major LBFD response. Public Information Officer Battalion Chief Jeff Reeb says Engines 7, 9, 13, Truck 11, Rescue units 9, 11, 13, BLS 3, 16, 17, Battalion Chiefs 1 and 3 were dispatched.
LBFD paramedics transported the Blazer's driver and his wife to a hospital; the driver succumbed to his injuries; LBFD says his wife was transported in critical but stable condition.
[Caveat: conflicting info] CHP says the Pontiac's driver was treated at a hospital; BC/PIO Reeb says the drivers of the Pontiac and big rig truck declined to be transported and were treated on scene.