The first crash, which occurred at about 7:22 a.m., left a Long Beach Fire Department paramedic injured after the rig he was riding in collided with a catering truck, police said.
Paramedics were taking a patient to St. Mary Medical Center and were heading south on Atlantic Avenue with their lights and siren going when the fire department vehicle cross Anaheim Street and collided with the truck, said Sgt. Aaron Eaton, a Long Beach Police Department spokesman.
One of the paramedics suffered non-life-threatening injuries and he and the original patient were both taken to the hospital for treatment, Eaton said.
Long Beach Fire Capt. Jim Arvizu said the paramedic was released from the hospital the same day, but it was not clear when he would be able to return to work.
The second crash occurred about three minutes later on Stearns Street just east of McNab Avenue and left a 25-year-old Baldwin Park man in extremely critical condition, said Nancy Pratt, a Long Beach Police Department spokeswoman.
The initial investigation found the 25-year-old was driving a white 1985 Mazda GSL west on Stearns and was traveling too fast for the rainy conditions when he lost control of the car and entered on-coming traffic lanes and spun out, said Nancy Pratt, a Long Beach Police Department spokeswoman.
"The vehicle was then broad-sided by a 2009 grey Nissan Rogue being driven by a 39-year-old woman from Long Beach," Pratt said.
Although the driver of the Mazda was wearing his seatbelt, the force of the impact was so great he was thrown out of the hatchback window of his car, she said.
Witnesses at the scene said one of the cars also briefly caught fire.
The 25-year-old man was rushed to a local hospital, where he was in extremely critical condition Thursday afternoon, Pratt said.
Long Beach Fire Department paramedics also transported the 39-year-old woman to a local hospital, with a complaint of pain, Pratt said.
Accident Investigations Detective Sirilo Garcia was called to the scene and police had to shut down a large portion of the street to traffic for several hours as they sifted through the evidence Thursday morning.
Anyone with information about either crash is urged to call the Accident Investigations Detail, 562-570-7355. Anonymous tips may be submitted by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), texting TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637) or visiting www.lacrimestoppers.org.