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Big-rig crash, tanker spill snarl commute on 5 Freeway

July 3, 2012 |  6:26 am

A big rig lost a fuel tank over the side of the 5 freeway in Norwalk.

This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.

A big rig hit the center divider on the 5 Freeway early Tuesday, sending its fuel tanker rolling onto a nearby surface street and forcing closure of two southbound lanes of the freeway through Norwalk as the morning commute was ramping up.

California Highway Patrol officials say a call came in just after 3 a.m. that a big-rig had hit with a right shoulder railing on the freeway, then the center divider. Officer Anthony Martin said the crashes jarred loose the big rig's fuel tanker, which rolled from the freeway onto San Antonio Drive, where fuel has spilled. He said it was not immediately clear how many parties were involved or injured.

Officer Monica Posada said no fuel was spilled on the freeway, but all three southbound lanes were closed at San Antonio Drive for more than two hours as officials investigated the crash and did cleanup work.  

The No. 1 and No. 2 lanes were opened by about 5:39 a.m., officials said, and Martin said the No. 3 lane would likely be opened after rush hour.

Officers said they were diverting traffic off and then back on to the 5 Freeway using Union Street, which parallels the roadway for a short distance. Motorists are being urged to use the 605 Freeway or Firestone Boulevard as alternate routes.

[For the record, 7:17 a.m. July 3: An earlier version of this post stated that all four southbound lanes of the 5 Freeway near Norwalk were closed by the big-rig accident. CHP officials amended their report to say that stretch of freeway has three lanes.] 


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Photo: A big rig lost a fuel tank over the side of the 5 freeway in Norwalk. Credit: KTLA-TV, Channel 5