San Diego

Helicopter Lands on I-15 to Aid Person Injured in Crash Near Fallbrook

A helicopter ambulance landed on Interstate 15 Thursday morning in response to a two-car crash involving a semi-truck near Fallbrook. 

A van crashed into the back of a slow-moving semi-truck on northbound Interstate 15 north of Mission Road in Rainbow at about 5:10 a.m., the North County Fire Protection District (NCFPD) said.

The front of the van was crushed and the engine ignited, trapping the 31-year-old driver from Oceanside inside for about a half-hour until rescue crews could pull him out, NCFPD Battalion Chief Greg Wilson said. 

The man had moderate injuries and an air ambulance was called to quickly get him to Palomar Medical Center. Traffic on I-15 was halted as the helicopter landed on the freeway at about 6 a.m. 

He told police he may have fallen asleep moments before the collision. 

The crash caused heavy traffic in the area, NBC 7 Traffic Anchor Ashley Matthews said. 

"It’s creating so many delays on the freeway," Matthews said on NBC 7 News Today. "The 15 southbound, Rainbow to Escondido, is going to take about 68 minutes. So over an hour right now to go 21 miles."

Delays were affecting both northbound and southbound lanes. A SigAlert was issued until about 6:40 a.m. 

No other information was available.

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