A big rig truck towing an excavator traveled off a San Diego highway Tuesday, crashed into a tree, overturned and caught on fire, California Highway Patrol confirmed.
The truck tractor, driven by a 26-year-old man from Lemon Grove, and a stake bed truck, driven by a 44-year-old man from Chula Vista, collided around 10:40 a.m. on Aug. 27 near Harbor Drive in Oceanside.
Traveling on Interstate 5 Southbound, the stake bed truck driver felt his cargo load shift and pulled to the shoulder to check on it. Before he left the driver's seat, the truck tractor hit the back of the stake bed truck.
The drivers had minor injuries, CHP reported.
Upon impact the driver towing the excavator lost control and veered off the highway. The truck and excavator continued off the interstate, crashed into a tree and caught on fire. Nearby onlookers brought fire extinguishers and put the fire out.
CHP reported the truck tractor and excavator leaked fluids onto the highway which required extensive hazmat cleanup.
A SigAlert was issued and traffic was backed up to San Clemente with speeds in the single digits.
CHP said that two of the lanes were closed to traffic because of the hazmat cleanup and recovery of the large excavator. All lanes were open after 5:40 p.m.