Crash of Tanker Truck Shuts I-5 for 17 Hours

A tanker truck hauling diesel fuel hit a car and overturned on Interstate 5 near Gorman, erupting into flames and closing all of the highway’s northbound lanes for 17 hours, authorities said Tuesday.

Two lanes were reopened by 1:30 p.m. Tuesday and all lanes were reopened by 4:10 p.m., the California Highway Patrol said. The driver of the car was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. The accident occurred approximately two miles south of Gorman about 8:30 p.m. Monday when the driver of the two-tank rig swerved to avoid a car stopped in the slow lane, Officer Paul Yanez said. The tanker clipped the car, overturned and slid across all lanes before its rear tank ruptured and burst into flames, Yanez said. The car also caught fire and was destroyed.

The truck driver and the driver of the car were treated for minor injuries at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital in Valencia and released, a hospital spokeswoman said. The driver of the car, Johnny Bennett, 54, of Oildale, was being held at the Peter J. Pitchess Honor Rancho in Castaic, Yanez said.