Big rig overturns onto car on 405 Freeway in O.C., injuring 1 and snarling traffic for 10 hours
A huge semi truck smashed into a small car Wednesday near the southern end of the 405 Freeway in Orange County, leaving the driver with a serious injury and leading to a massive traffic jam that has since been nicknamed the “Semi-Truck Jam.”
The large tractor-trailer, which authorities said was hauling an 82-foot-tall steel roller coaster, overturned and slammed into the Honda Civic as it was traveling at speeds up to 100 mph, crushing it into a pile of metal, glass and other debris.
The driver of the Honda was in stable condition after the crash, but the vehicle’s driver was not injured, officials said.
Authorities said that the driver had been texting while driving and may have been impaired by booze. It was unclear how old the driver was. Traffic on the 405 was snarled in the aftermath, which added up to an estimated 10 hours of traffic delays and the overnight closure of the 4-mile freeway and other portions of the Orange County section of the freeway for several hours.
The crash snarled the morning commute for riders heading northbound on the 405 from near the Santa Ana River before it turned south, and then south again, before the accident occurred. The freeway was closed between Harbor Boulevard and West San Bernardino Street.
About 20 minutes before the crash, the driver of the Honda had been reported to be texting and talking on the phone, but there was no record of what that conversation was about.
The California Highway Patrol officer who responded to the accident said the Honda was going between 50 and 75 mph on a section of the freeway where speeds typically rise to 85 to 100 mph.
A man driving a tractor-trailer that was involved in a crash on the 405 Freeway near the northern end of the San Bernardino Mountains was pronounced dead Sunday, after he died in the crash, according to Orange County Sheriff Bill Bueda.
Bueda said the driver, identified as 36-year-old Robert M. Satterwhite, of San Clemente, was en route to an address in Riverside about 4:30 a.m. Saturday when the accident occurred.
The cause of the collision is not known, but the CHP said the driver lost control of his tractor-trailer in the area where