A multi-car crash in Sun Valley early Friday killed one person, damaged a sheriff's patrol vehicle, set two other cars on fire and shut down the southbound 5 Freeway throughout the morning rush hour, the California Highway Patrol said.
Just after 3 a.m., motorists reported the crash on the freeway just north of the 170 Freeway, the CHP said.
CHP logs indicated that a stalled Honda CRV in the carpool lane was struck by another vehicle.
The collision sparked a chain-reaction crash, officials said.
The car that struck the CRV stopped in the No. 1 lane, where it was then struck by a Los Angeles County Sheriff's patrol vehicle carrying two inmates. The vehicle hit by the patrol car erupted in flames, killing its single occupant, officials said. The deputies were uninjured and the inmates suffered minor cuts from broken glass, KABC reported.
A fourth car somehow became involved in the crash afterward. In all, five people were injured, and one person was killed, the CHP said.
The CHP closed the southbound 5 in the area until it began reopening lanes about 9:30 a.m. A Sigalert was issued about 3:30 a.m. and some drivers were forced to turn around on the freeway and exit off the Osborne Street onramp, th CHP said.
The incident was one of several that snarled pre-dawn traffic on Southern California's freeways Friday. At about 2 a.m., the CHP said, a truck dropped a barrel of honey into the middle lanes of the northbound 5 Freeway in Castaic Canyons, temporarily closing the Lake Hughes onramp onto the northbound lanes.
In North Hollywood, four lanes of westbound U.S. 101 remained closed at 6 a.m. after a big rig overturned attempting to avoid a stalled car at Tujunga Avenue, the CHP said.
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9:45 a.m.: This article was updated with lanes reopening.