A tanker truck collided with multiple vehicles on southbound Interstate 15 in Escondido Saturday, causing several injuries and snarling traffic on the highway for hours, officials confirmed.
According to California Highway Patrol officials, the crash happened around 1 p.m. on southbound I-15 near the Via Rancho Parkway exit.
Officials said a 47-year-old Escondido resident was driving a freightliner tanker truck when he saw traffic coming to a stop due to sudden back-up on the Via Rancho Parkway off-ramp.
Mose applied his brakes but wasn’t able to stop the tanker before crashing into the rear of a Chevrolet Malibu sedan. Officials said this caused a chain reaction between the tanker, sedan and then two other cars, a Pontiac G6 and Toyota Solara.
The Malibu sedan became wedged underneath the tanker, which caught on fire. The driver of the sedan was trapped inside.
The Escondido Fire Department had to extinguish the flames before extracting the seriously injured driver from the sedan. He was transported via air ambulance to the UCSD Medical Center with major injuries, CHP officials said. No further information has been released about this victim or his current condition.
Meanwhile, the Pontiac was occupied by a 21-year-old driver and two passengers – a 21-year-old male and 1-year-old baby. They all sustained moderate to minor injuries and were transported to Palomar Hospital.
The Toyota Solora was driven by a man from San Diego who was not injured, officials said.
Traffic in the area was snarled for several hours as crews investigated the collision.
At 1:45 p.m., a SigAlert was issued and CHP officials shut down a said a large portion of the southbound I-15. By 2:20 p.m., lane two had re-opened but lanes three and four remained closed for the next several hours.
CHP officials said alcohol or drugs are not suspected factors in this crash.