A BMW slammed into the back of a big rig on Interstate 5 near Camp Pendleton, seriously injuring the driver.
Firefighters worked to rescue the BMW driver who was pinned inside the wreckage following the collision just after 1 a.m.
Several lanes of the southbound side of I-5 were closed to allow emergency personnel to work.
Then, when it was determined the driver needed to be airlifted to a nearby hospital, the entire southbound side of the highway was closed to traffic to allow a medical helicopter to land.
The driver survived the initial collision but suffered severe injuries according to a California Highway Patrol official.
“The driver was either impaired or likely fell asleep one way or the other, he did not see the big rig ahead of him and that’s what caused this collision,” said CHP Sgt. Eric Nicholas.
“Being fatigued can be just as dangerous as drugs and alcohol.”