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60-car pileup closes I-5 in Northern California

December 18, 2012 | 10:46 pm

A stretch of Interstate 5 in Northern California remains closed Tuesday evening after a pileup involving dozens of vehicles.

Beth Cousineau, a dispatcher with the California Highway Patrol, said the accident began about 6:15 p.m. on the 5 around Yreka and probably involved about 60 vehicles, though she said, "We're having a hard time telling how many vehicles were actually involved in the accident or how many vehicles were just backed up."

Cousineau said that there were no reports of fatalities but that some people had been transported by paramedics to area hospitals, though it was unclear how many were injured in total.

Authorities initially attempted to close a stretch of the southbound 5 so paramedics could reach the scene, but Cousineau said they abandoned that plan and were able to reach those involved another way.

She said it is unclear what caused the accident, but some of the messaging on the CHP's Incident Information page suggests ice and the weather may have played a factor and that large trucks may have been involved.

Cousineau said the southbound 5 is currently open in the area but that the northbound 5 is closed from North Yreka to the Randolf Collier Safety Roadside Rest Area. Yreka is a little more than 20 miles south of the California-Oregon border.

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- Ari Bloomekatz

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