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Suspicious vehicle spurs evacs, freeway closure

June 10, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
The 91 Freeway was shut down in both directions in Corona due to police activity Friday afternoon.

Westbound traffic was being taken off at Maple Street, and eastbound traffic was being taken off at Coal Canyon Road.

East- and westbound 91 lanes were re-opened at 4:15 p.m. by police to alleviate traffic congestion in the area. The 91 was expected to be shut down again for approximately 15 to 20 minutes during the continuing police investigation. All lanes were closed again by 4:45 p.m.

By 5:10 p.m., all lanes of the 91 Freeway were re-opened and were expected to remain so.

The 71 Freeway was shut down for a time at Euclid Avenue but was re-opened.

A parking lot, several restaurants, a gas station and an office complex were also evacuated as a precaution.

Police were investigating a U-Haul truck that was parked in a Corona parking lot for about two days. Police determined the vehicle was suspicious.

Corona Police and the California Highway Patrol received a report of the suspicious vehicle at about 3 p.m. Friday. Fluid was reportedly leaking from the truck.

A hazardous-materials team and a bomb squad from the Riverside County Sheriff's Dept. were called to the scene.

The truck was located in a parking lot at the Green River exit of the 91 Freeway.

The truck's windows were covered on the inside with paper and plastic, obscuring the interior.

Police deployed a remote-controlled robot to investigate the truck. The robot smashed the passenger-side window of the truck so police could take a closer look inside.

A body was found inside the truck's cab. Firefighters took the body away from the vehicle so paramedics could attend to it. The body was loaded into an ambulance and was transported from the scene.

By 6 p.m. Friday, the truck was removed from the parking lot and the scene was cleared. No hazardous materials were found in the truck.

The woman is now in stable condition in a hospital. Family members say she has a history of schizophrenia.


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