Car over side of 118 Freeway in Simi Valley sparks brush fire

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. (KABC) -- A car went over the guardrail following a crash on the 118 Freeway in Simi Valley, sparking a brush fire Friday morning.

A silver SUV and a truck collided near Rocky Peak Road on the westbound side of the freeway around 5:30 a.m., according to Simi Valley police.

As a result of the crash, the truck tipped over the rail, plunged 200 feet down an embankment and into a ravine and sparked a fire, authorities said.

A firefighter was hoisted down to the wrecked car at the bottom of the ravine to help someone possibly trapped inside. The driver was pulled out of the embankment and transported to an area hospital. He is expected to survive, but his exact condition was not immediately known.

By around 8 a.m., the Ventura County Fire Department posted on Twitter that fire crews stopped the forward process of the blaze and that no structures were threatened.

The blaze scorched approximately 15 acres.

Because the incident occurred so early in the morning, the colder air mass held the smoke down in the ravine and resulted in nearly zero visibility. Ventura County Fire Department Capt. Scott Dettorre said this caused problems in the firefight, especially for the helicopter pilots.

Due to these conditions, the air-rescue helicopter arriving to save the driver of that truck had to fly well above the cloud of smoke. It was a long way up to safety.

A car went over the guard rail on the westbound 118 Freeway near Rocky Peak Road in Simi Valley, sparking a brush fire on Friday, Aug. 14, 2015.


It was also a tough time up and down the hill for firefighters on the ground. The hill side is nearly at a 75-degree incline.

"If this had happened at 12:30, 1 o'clock, the difference would have been, the fire would have been much more active," Dettorre said. "It would have been, in terms of the fire control, much more challenging."

Crews from Los Angeles County, Los Angeles City and Ventura County fire departments worked together to battle the blaze.

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