Truck Accident Closes 3 Lanes on Freeway


A fiery accident involving a flatbed tractor-trailer on the Ventura Freeway near California Street in Ventura closed part of the freeway for more than eight hours Friday, the California Highway Patrol said.

The truck, driven by 58-year-old Natividad Mata of Fresno, was traveling south about 1:20 a.m. when it swerved to avoid an engine block on the highway, the CHP said.

The truck swiped the engine block, which tore a hole in the truck’s gas tank. The driver swerved again and lost his load of compressed cardboard, which caught fire and scattered across the southbound lanes, the CHP said.


All three southbound lanes were closed as city fire crews put out the flames and California Department of Transportation workers cleared the freeway of cardboard. Police diverted traffic through downtown Ventura, the CHP said. One lane was opened about 3 a.m. and the other two opened at 9 a.m.

There were no injuries, with the truck only receiving moderate fire damage, authorities said.