STUDIO CITY (CBS) — A big-rig hauling sand smashed through a divider on the Ventura (101) Freeway, seriously injuring one person and blocking traffic for miles during the morning commute.

The accident happened shortly after 6 a.m. when an eastbound big rig struck a van, which burst into flames near Laurel Canyon Blvd. The rig punched through concrete center divider and jackknifed, causing a secondary collision.

Officials said that van driver suffered first-to third-degree burns on his legs and arms.

The CHP says the driver of the big rig was initially suspected of drunken driving. They say he may have been dazed by the accident, and the officer in charge on the investigation apparently mistook him for being intoxicated. He was later released without being booked for a crime after passing a sobriety test.

It took authorities until about 10 a.m. to reopen all lanes.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (14)
  1. K.C. says:

    This is the second time this has happened in the past two or three weeks locally. Maybe big rigs should be more closely monitored/regulated in terms of their speed? Or maybe the freeway dividers need to be strengthened! Whenever I am in the carpool lane I can’t help but think about someone crashing over from the other side.

    1. Silly Silly says:

      Or maybe cars should not dart in front of the big rigs. I see it all the time. Oh, better yet, perhaps all drivers should slow down and not travel over 70mph. Being a communter I see it all the time.

      1. K.C. says:

        True! Good points! Especially about cars cutting in front of the big rigs!!! I think the flow of traffic being a steady 80mph is too much!

      2. sue says:

        Silly Silly, AGREE. I see this all the time. Maybe cars need to monitored.

    2. Really says:

      It can happen, K.C. Have to keep your eyes moving at all times. I’m not sure what caused the rig to hit the divider. Maybe it had an unbalanced load. I do notice rigs driving on the highways at extremely high speeds even when there is a lot of traffic out there. I often think, “Where are the cops giving tickets right now?” Regular car drivers also drive like they’re crazy.

  2. DSR says:

    I dont know what LA you live in but Ive never seen rush hour traffic flow at 70 or 80, especially on the 101 S

  3. J.P. says:

    Many big rig drivers could use some refresher courses or better training. It sounds like this truck might have been in the left lane which is normally the fast lane. There are exceptions but, for the most part, big rigs should not be in that lane. I doubt that traffic was at a standstill at 6am so who knows what the cause may have been? I agree with passenger car drivers not cutting off trucks. That’s just plain stupid and inconsiderate (2 words that come to mind when describing much of the L.A. driver population).

    Freeway dividers (or “K rails” as they’re referred to) are designed so that, should most vehicles hit one at speed, it will be deflected back into the left lane. They’re only designed to withstand a certain amount of force though so perhaps a modified design or strengthening could help.

    In reference to traffic flowing at 80mph, I doubt K.C. was referring to rush hour.

    1. Buck says:

      I drive from sylmar to la daily with a heavy 12′ trailer behind my pick up. Daily I slam my brakes at 9 times from some stupid car cutting me off. I’m a retired semi driver and now do this job. Every incident I ever had was proven in court to be a cars fault.

  4. Dork Buttock says:

    I made poopy in my undies.

  5. EJ from LA says:

    Hey this is LA..Implants,move to the right. Mini Vans, Toyota Prius, move to the right.

    The speed in LA has always been 5-15miles over the limit. Instead of trying to control the world, move over!!!!

  6. George says:

    Load ? Those trailers were empty, no sand or contents from the trailers on road. Truck drivers are pros. It’s thier job. As for accidents, ship happens. We all need to take caution when driving here. And yes 5-15 over speed limit is the norm, w/o traffic

    1. sue says:

      You are so right! this was a great place at one time i have watch this place go from beautiful to a city dump. Sad to see.

  7. Big John says:

    all you crazy people need to go back to where you were born & drive like crazy’s over there. i can remember when the city of angels was a great place there was no homeless , the streets were clean & the days were safe & the nights were fun. what all you implants have done is ruin our city. if you do not change the way you live what will you leave your kids. maybe you never planed on staying so you do not care. well in that case you have out stayed your welcome & it is time for you to go.

  8. Ken says:

    Through trucking should not be allowed during the rush hours on major city highways. Also, everywhere I look drivers are on cell phones, texting, reading books and magazines, using laptops, eating with one hand and holding a drink in the other. No wonder there are so many accidents!

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