A white pickup truck was traveling southbound in northbound lanes of the 14 Freeway, causing a traffic collision that involved at least eight vehicles, according to the California Highway Patrol. The crash occurred at 4:36 p.m. just south of Escondido Canyon Road in the Agua Dulce area.
All northbound lanes were closed for about two hours while ground ambulances loaded patients on the roadway and damaged vehicles were towed. Northbound traffic was backed up all the way to the 5 Freeway. Southbound lanes were not closed but traffic was affected.
The Los Angeles County Fire Department said there was a total of 12 patients, with three critically injured. One person was flown to Antelope Valley Hospital while other injured people were taken by ambulance to hospitals as far away as Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital.
Three other motorists involved reported not needing medical assistance. All northbound lanes were reopened at 7:50 p.m.
Eyewitness Andres Zenon, who was involved in a separate collision, was on the edge of the freeway talking to California Highway Patrol officers when he saw the truck heading their way.
"He just past by us, flying maybe two feet from us, so we almost got hit and then we just saw the crash over there," said Zenon.
The driver of the white pickup truck driving the wrong-way on the freeway was undergoing a sobriety test, according to the CHP.
"We do know that he does have severe injuries, and right now, alcohol and/or drugs are suspected to be a factor," said John Lutz with the CHP.