The California Highway Patrol has begun reopening northbound lanes on the 57 Freeway in Fullerton after closing them overnight to clean up a deadly crash involving a big rig.
Officials began to open the northbound lanes about 4 a.m. after a full shutdown was instituted just after 10 p.m. Wednesday, according to the CHP.
Shortly after 7 p.m. Wednesday, a tire on the big rig blew out, causing the truck to strike the center divider on the southbound side of the freeway and roll over into the northbound lanes, said CHP Officer Jon Latosquin. Diesel fuel from the rig spilled onto the roadway.
The big rig continued in the northbound lanes and collided head-on with another vehicle. The driver of the car that was hit by the big rig was killed. The Orange County coroner identified him as Eric McEntarffer, 29, of Fontana.
At least seven other vehicles were involved in the crash, according to a spokeswoman for Metro Cities Fire Authority.
Investigators said the truck was hauling a forklift, which flew into the air after it was dislodged by the impact.
Seven people were transported to trauma centers, fire officials said.
The accident cleanup was combined with construction in the same area on the southbound lanes – creating a bottleneck that backed up traffic throughout the area.