In a tweet shortly after 11:15 a.m. Wednesday, the San Bernardino County Fire Department said the three-alarm, major casualty incident occurred between Oak Hills and Highway 138.
CAJON PASS: #SBCoFD onscene 3rd ALARM MCI Traffic Collision SB-15 between Oak Hills and Hwy138. Multiple vehicles with updated patient count of 10 immediates, 17 delayed. ^eas— SB County Fire (@SBCOUNTYFIRE) May 30, 2018
Fire officials initially stated in the tweet that paramedics were assessing 27 individuals. In a follow-up tweet 15 minutes later, the fire department updated the number of injured to 17, saying many involved declined treatment. Two people were taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries.
MORE: High school students get CHP escort to graduation ceremony after Cajon Pass pileup
California Highway Patrol officials said two cars first crashed on the southbound 15 Freeway at about 10 a.m., and that started a chain-reaction wreck involving 20 to 30 other vehicles. Heavy fog and reduced visibility in the area contributed to the pile-up, authorities said.
Cajon(Update): ALS resources have completed re-triage. 2 Immediate, 15 Minors. Numerous drivers and occupants declining treatment. ME302 is Southbound IC. Traffic is backed up to Main St in Hesperia. Extremely low visibility in the area of the incident.— SB County Fire (@SBCOUNTYFIRE) May 30, 2018
Drivers in the crash said they tried to avoid colliding with other vehicles.
"I looked out my driver window and noticed there were two or three overturned cars, and then the guy behind me hit me, so it pushed me forward to the car ahead of me and it cracked my radiator," said Hesperia resident Nicole Taylor.
The incident prompted the closure of all southbound lanes for about two hours.
D'Sean Fisher and his sister were on their way to a high school graduation ceremony during the traffic jam. The two were set to miss out until ABC7 photographer Martin Orozco alerted CHP. The officers then jumped into action by giving the teens a lift.
All lanes were reopened around 1:30 p.m.
Motorist Darren Corrigan shares this video of the crash in the Cajon Pass moments after it happened. You can still hear the crash happening. pic.twitter.com/MEwffXog36— Leticia Juarez (@ABC7Leticia) May 30, 2018
Crash on I-15 has closed all southbound lanes. Hearing reports of injury. Heavy fog and white out conditions in area. pic.twitter.com/qloekplOW4— Leticia Juarez (@ABC7Leticia) May 30, 2018