AGUA DULCE (CBSLA.com) — Eight vehicles were involved in a collision on the 14 Freeway during rush hour Monday, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Twelve people were reportedly injured — three seriously — in the crash, which was caused by a wrong-way driver, officials said.
According to Los Angeles County Fire, the accident occurred at 4:36 p.m near the Escondido Canyon Road exit.
The driver of a pickup truck got on the northbound 14 Freeway and traveled a mile before plowing head-on into another vehicle, triggering the massive pileup and causing one car to overturn, authorities said. One car involved even had a pole thrust through its window. Another person was trapped in their vehicle and crews had to extract them with heavy machinery.
Investigators suspect the driver, in his 40s or 50s, was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
“Obviously, we want to make this as safe as we can for the motoring public and, truthfully, our hearts go out to those who were involved in the collision, and their families,” CHP Officer John Lutz said. “We want to assure them that the Highway Patrol is doing everything they can to piece this puzzle together and to make sure that all the facts get out.”
Law enforcement administered a drug and alcohol test to the driver. They expected the results in a few days.
The collision left debris strewn across all southbound lanes, backing up traffic for miles and leaving thousands of motorists stranded.
All lanes were reopened at 7:50 p.m.