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Big rig tosses carrots near Grapevine, sparks fire

August 22, 2010 |  4:31 pm

A big rig lost control on a steep downgrade of the northbound 5 Freeway near the Grapevine on Sunday, spilling a load of carrots and sparking a 150 acre brush fire, authorities said.

The accident occurred about 2 p.m. just south of the Grapevine Road exit near the Los Angeles County-Kern County line. The  trailer of the truck apparently began sliding sideways, spilling carrots across all four lanes of traffic, said California Highway Patrol Officer Jennifer Connolly. The No. 1 lane of California’s major north-south artery remained closed into the afternoon with no estimate of when it would reopen, Connolly said.

The carrots mostly “dissipated” with the traffic, she added. There were no details on what precipitated the accident or the condition of the driver.

Sparks from the incident ignited a small brush fire in the center divider, as well as a bigger fire that was moving up a grassy hillside east of the freeway. Several ground units and four air tankers were battling the blaze, which threatened no structures, said Kern County fire engineer Dustin Allegranza.

-- Carla Rivera