San Diego

1 Dead in Fiery Crash Involving Car, Semi-Truck on I-8

A driver died Friday night in a violent collision with a semi-truck on Interstate 8 that may have been caused by another driver who fled the scene, the California Highway Patrol said.

Firefighters responded first to the scene of the crash just west of Johnson Avenue and found the trailer of a semi-truck full of what appeared to be recycled paper engulfed in flames on the shoulder of eastbound lanes.

As the flames and black smoke cleared, the car could be seen wedged beneath the trailer between its front and back wheels.

Multiple witnesses reported another driver cut the car off in the left lane before it crashed into the center divider and then swerved across the freeway and hit the truck in the right-most lane, CHP Officer Travis Garrow said.

The car was then dragged more than 100 feet by the truck before it could stop, according to Garrow.

The CHP says it has a plate number and description for the alleged hit-and-run vehicle.

All but one lane of the freeway were closed. The CHP  said it expected all lanes to be open by 1 a.m. Saturday.

NBC 7's traffic map showed eastbound cars were back up nearly to State Route 125 during evening commute hours.

Heartland Fire Department spokesperson Sonny Saghera said it was initially unclear if the driver or any passengers of the car were still inside. The CHP confirmed a few hours later the driver of the car was killed. He was identified only as a San Diego man.

The semi-truck driver was not injured.

No other information was available.

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