Fatal Crash, Blackout Blamed on Showers--Sun Back Today

Times Staff Writer

Rain showers spattered thinly across the face of Southern California on Wednesday, claiming one life in a freeway crash in Orange County and causing a major power failure in Temple City, but the National Weather Service said skies should be sunny again today.

Joe Flores Fierro, 61, of Fullerton was killed and two other motorists were injured early Wednesday when a truck went out of control on the rain-slickened Riverside Freeway near Yorba Linda and tangled with another truck and four automobiles.

The California Highway Patrol said a truck began hydroplaning while trying to pass another truck in eastbound lanes, sideswiping the second truck and an eastbound car.

All three vehicles crossed the grass median strip, the CHP said, and crashed into Flores’ westbound automobile. Flores was pronounced dead at the scene, and two other motorists suffered minor injuries when their cars were struck by debris.

And a rain-fouled underground cable was blamed for an electrical failure that left 2,500 Temple City homes and businesses without power for about two hours. Utility workers restored power to most of the area before 5 a.m., Southern California Edison Co. said.


Central Los Angeles had received .18 of an inch of moisture by sunset Wednesday--enough to push the season total slightly above the .16 of an inch that would be normal to date, but far short of the record .30 inch that fell in just 24 hours on Sept. 4, 1963.

Rainfall was a bit heavier elsewhere. San Gabriel had .30 of an inch; Montebello, .27 and Santa Ana .26. Newport Beach recorded .20; Monrovia, .13; Los Angeles International Airport, .05; Long Beach, .04; and .02 fell at Beaumont, Northridge and Fallbrook. Traces were recorded at Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Monica, Woodland Hills and San Diego.

The Weather Service said it might rain a bit more in some places through the night and early morning hours.

By today, however, forecasters said the sun should be ready to break through again. The slow-moving storm, they said, should have passed through the area by then, en route eastward to extinction on the western slopes of the Rockies.