SAN CLEMENTE (CBSLA.com) — Several people were hospitalized Thursday when a big-rig crashed through a freeway median and slammed into multiple vehicles in San Clemente.
The semi-truck was going north on the Santa Ana (5) Freeway when the driver lost control about 12:15 p.m.
The vehicle crashed through the center divider near Camino De Estrella and veered into the southbound lanes, where it finally stopped, California Highway Patrol Officer Denise Quesada said.
The crash scene involved eight vehicles and spread out over 300 feet.
Seven people, including a 1-year-old, a 3-year-old and their father, suffered minor to moderate injuries, Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi said.
A 66-year-old woman from Santa Monica is in critical condition with major injuries.
The father and his two children were taken to Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, while the other patients were taken to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana, Saddleback Memorial Medical Center in San Clemente and UCI Medical Center in Orange, Concialdi said.
Witness Richard Finley said his tow truck broke down just minutes before the semi jumped the center divider.
“I heard brakes…and a loud noise. And that was it,” he said.
Finley said he’s lucky he walked away. The big-rig’s impact launched a piece of concrete into the man’s back window.
“It hit closer to the right-hand side of the truck. Luckily, I wasn’t on the right-hand side,” he said.
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