Freeway Tied Up for 8 Hours After Lift Hits Overhead Sign

Traffic on the northbound Golden State Freeway in Sylmar was tied up for about eight hours Wednesday after a tractor-trailer truck carrying a hydraulic lift hit an overhead sign, scattering debris over three lanes of the freeway.

No one was injured in the incident, which occurred about 1 p.m. near the Foothill Freeway intersection. CHP Officer Ralph Elvira said traffic, which slowed to a snail’s pace, was backed up past the Simi Valley Freeway interchange--about three miles.

Truck driver Skip Weill, 28, of Torrance said he was transporting the “scissors” lift from Irvine to Valencia when the lift somehow raised up and struck the top of the 25-foot-high sign.

Portions of the sign and the lift fell onto the freeway.


The two right lanes of the freeway remained closed until shortly after 8 p.m. while Caltrans crews worked to clean up the debris and evaluate damage to the 30-foot-by-10-foot sign. A Caltrans worker, Eladio Martinez, said there was considerable damage to the structure of the 17,000-pound sign, which covers five freeway lanes.