LONG BEACH - Commuters should avoid the northbound San Diego (405) Freeway near Lakewood Boulevard, where a lunchtime crash on rain-slick roads led to the shutdown of several lanes today.
Lakewood Boulevard on and off ramps, and a portion of the street itself, were shut down at about 12:34 p.m. Thursday after a multi-car-crash resulted in a bobtail truck plunging over the freeway guardrail and down an embankment, said California Highway Patrol officer Ming Hsu.
The first calls came in at 12:32 p.m. when the crash involved a Ford Mustang, a white Acura and the truck. At least one or two more vehicles collided shortly thereafter, Hsu said.
Crews scrambled to shut down lanes to clear fuel that spilled from the truck's gas tank onto the freeway. The HOV lane, the number one lane and the slow lane were all blocked. And about 35 feet of the guard rail was ripped out by the truck plunging over the side of the freeway, Hsu said.
Long Beach Fire Department crews were called to the scene, but no serious injuries were reported as of 2 p.m., the officer said.
Long Beach Police Department units also responded, and shut down a portion of Lakewood Boulevard to allow for tow trucks and other emergency vehicles to get to the crash site.
A sig alert was issued at 1:09 p.m. and expected to last at least two hours. Commuters are urged to avoid the 405 near Lakewood, where traffic is backing up in both directions.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation, but weather conditions are believed to have played a part in the pile up, Hsu said.
Rain was also likely a factor in single car crash on the eastbound Artesia (91) Freeway near the Long Beach (710) Freeway at about 12:49 p.m., officers said.
Long Beach Fire Department paramedics transported the driver, who spun out and hit the center divider, for x-rays and crews had to be called out to clean oil spilled onto the road.
The incident led to a brief closure of of the number one lane, until about 1:15 p.m., officer said.