OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
9:50 AM – Sunday, January 7, 2024
An accident involving at least 35 vehicles along a stretch of southern California’s Interstate 5 has resulted in two people dead and nine others injured.
On Saturday at approximately 7:30 a.m., an accident occurred involving a 35 car pileup on California’s Interstate 5, which is west of Bakersfield.
According to Kern County Fire Department spokesman Jim Calhoun, visibility was about 10 feet when the crews arrived at the “chaotic” scene.
The accident, stretched out over roughly half a mile, or 0.80 kilometers, affected 17 passenger cars and 18 tractor-trailers.
According to the California Department of Transportation (CALTRANS), the fatal pileup on the West Coast’s prominent north-south corridor happened on the southbound side of I-5 in Kern County.
As a result of the crash, two people were declared dead at the scene and nine additional people were hospitalized with slight injuries, authorities stated.
“It was pretty chaotic when I first pulled up at the scene, it was compressed natural gas, saddle tanks on the side of some the big rigs that were ruptured, so a lot of the bystanders that weren’t injured were trying to help people and were in a plume of natural gas so we had to deal with that first and get everyone evacuated from that area,” Calhoun told reporters.
According to California Highway Patrol (CHP) spokesperson Tami Grimes, the freeway remained closed at Millux Road while detectives from the California Highway Patrol worked to piece together the collision and establish an official cause.
In the San Joaquin Valley, these low-visibility conditions, which occur when rain saturates the soil, are referred to as tule fog. Reporters stated that because high-pressure air traps the fog, it may persist.
Additionally, forecasters cautioned that ice and wind gusts as strong as 80 mph could affect the corridor north of Los Angeles.
CALTRANS announced on Saturday that southbound lanes would remain shut down overnight while crews removed debris and figured out an official cause of the accident.
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