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Fiery big rig crash on 57 Freeway shuts down lanes for hours

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A fiery crash involving a big rig shut down lanes on the 57 Freeway in Fullerton for hours and left a 35-year-old driver in critical condition. (KABC)

A fiery crash involving a big rig shut down lanes on the 57 Freeway in Fullerton for hours and left a 35-year-old driver in critical condition.

Flames were seen shooting out from the wreckage of a mangled big rig's cab moments after its driver plowed through the center divider on the southbound 57 freeway near Imperial Highway at about 3:30 a.m.

The driver hit the divider so hard, chunks of concrete were knocked across all of the northbound lanes. The impact was so fierce, the tractor detached and landed on the other side of the barrier, while the trailer overturned in the southbound lanes.

"The center divider is rarely broken through, but due to the weight of the vehicle, it was able to actually break the concrete and get through to the other side," said CHP officer Paul Fox.

The cleanup was extensive, as crews had to deal with gallons of oil that spilled onto lanes and clear thousands of empty plastic bottles that the trailer was carrying. Multiple lanes on the southbound side and all lanes on the northbound side at Imperial Highway were shut down.

California Highway Patrol officials said the driver of the big rig was conscious and was transported to a nearby hospital with severe burns. He was in critical condition.

Officials said parts of the 57 Freeway were expected to remain closed until at least 1 p.m.

The cause of the crash was not immediately known.
Related Topics:
trafficfreewaysemi crashcrashtraffic delayFullertonOrange County
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