A CHP officer stands on southbound lanes as Caltrans crews and firefighters remove crash debris and clean up fuel and oil spill.
A crash involving a propane tanker and several other big rigs shut down southbound Interstate 5 for several hours Friday at the scales north of Camp Pendleton.
The California Highway Patrol issued a SigAlert after the crash happened at 7:16 a.m. between San Clemente and Oceanside.
Three big rigs were stopped in the slow lane, in line for the weigh station.
A truck driver traveling at 55 mph was unable to stop in time. His truck collided with a tractor trailer hauling a propane tank causing the pileup.
A flatbed truck that was trying to go around the stopped vehicles was pushed into all lanes of traffic officials said. That driver suffered cuts to the back of his head officials said. Minor injuries were reported by other drivers.
Traffic along the highway came to a halt. CHP officers turned vehicles around at Basilone Road and sent them back north. Southbound I-5 was closed to traffic at Cristianitos Road.
Officers requested three tow trucks and a hazmat team to help clean up fuel and oil spilled on the lanes. The fuel spill initially reported as 100 gallons was later adjusted by CHP at approximately 20 gallons.
As of 9:44 a.m., two southbound lanes were reopened to traffic.
With traffic backed up well into Orange County, CHP said it could be some time before the gridlock is cleared.