ARLETA, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- One person was killed and several others were injured in a fiery four-vehicle crash that forced the closure of all southbound lanes on the 5 Freeway for hours in Arleta Friday.
A car experiencing issues with its tires was stopped in a carpool lane on the interstate, near the 170 Freeway interchange, when a second vehicle slammed into it from behind about 3:10 a.m. Two other vehicles, including a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department cruiser, were subsequently involved in the collision.
Two sheriff's deputies were transporting two inmates at the time. The prisoners were treated for cuts due to shattered glass but were not seriously injured.
The initial crash was captured on video by the dashcam of an ABC7 reporter who happened to be driving past. In the moments before the pileup, the driver of the stalled car was seen waving a flashlight in an apparent attempt to alert other motorists.
The California Highway Patrol issued a SigAlert at the scene, where the southbound side of the 5 was shut down for hours. The closure resulted in a miles-long traffic backup that spanned the morning commute.
Officers reopened two of the southbound lanes just south of Osborne around 9 a.m., but the carpool lane and all others were expected to remain closed for approximately three to four hours. All lanes were reopened at approximately 1:30 p.m.
A CHP spokesman urged commuters on the southbound 5 to use the 118 Freeway as a detour -- westbound to the 405 Freeway, or eastbound to the 210 and 2 freeways.
Patrolmen say whenever drivers run into to trouble, they should always pull over to the right. The individuals involved in the crash were not immediately identified.
"This is what happens when a vehicle stops in lanes, especially really early in the morning when there's not a lot of traffic," said Ryan Bejar of the CHP. "Sometimes it's just difficult for people to see the hazards ahead, to stop in time and to avoid the hazards."