Authorities were expected to start reopening eastbound lanes of 10 Freeway in Pomona at about 7 a.m. Tuesday after they were closed for the cleanup of a deadly, fiery crash that involved a big rig and several vehicles.
The crash Monday night left one person dead, and four people remained in critical condition Tuesday morning, officials said.
Early Tuesday, all but one eastbound lane of the freeway was closed by the accident and cleanup, but California Highway Patrol Officer Francisco Villalobos said all lanes at North Towne Avenue would be open at about 7 a.m.
In the meantime, CHP officers were allowing traffic to pass on the left shoulder and the carpool lane, he said.
All eastbound lanes were temporarily shut down about 8:10 p.m. after a crash between a big rig and four vehicles and a separate accident involving four vehicles about the same time. It was not immediately clear which crash was first, officials said.
Four of the victims were taken by two helicopters to local hospitals, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. An additional five suffered minor to moderate injuries, Villalobos said.
The big rig was loaded with furniture and spilled about 100 gallons of diesel fuel on the busy freeway.
One of the cars was trapped under the big rig and exploded in flames, the CHP said. In television news images, flames could be seen shooting out the back of the big rig.
One witness told The Times that the truck was on the right side of the road, burning, and that occasionally an explosion could be heard.
The crashes remained under investigation.