A 5-year-old girl was killed Thursday in a crash that involved three big rigs and eight other vehicles, shutting down the 60 Freeway in South El Monte for hours.
The girl, who was not immediately identified, was pronounced dead at 6:37 a.m. at Beverly Hospital in Montebello, where she taken following the crash, said Ed Winter, spokesman for the Los Angeles County coroner's office.
She was among more than a dozen people injured in the crash, authorities said. Of those, five were critically injured, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
The crash occurred about 5:43 a.m. in the eastbound lanes near Santa Anita Boulevard when a milk tanker collided with the other vehicles, said California Highway Patrol Officer Edgar Figueroa. The tanker came to rest on the center divider of the freeway, leaking fuel onto the roadway.
To keep the tanker from falling onto cars traveling westbound, firefighters pushed it over, sending a load of milk into a nearby storm drain and prompting a response from a county hazardous-materials team.
Firefighters also had to extinguish two vehicle fires, authorities said.
As of 8:15 a.m., CHP officials said they didn't expect to begin opening up the freeway, first on the westbound side, for at least two to three hours.