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Chain-Reaction Accident Injures 4, Closes Road

Four drivers were injured in a nine-vehicle, chain-reaction accident Wednesday morning when the driver of a big-rig lost control of his vehicle on a transition road at the Antelope Valley Freeway and Golden State Freeway interchange, authorities said.

Authorities shut down the transition road for nearly two hours, said Officer Doug Sweeney, a spokesman for the California Highway Patrol.

The truck driver, Alex Evans, 41, of Los Angeles, complained of chest pain and was airlifted to Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills. He was treated and released Wednesday afternoon, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Evans was not charged on Wednesday, Sweeney said, because the case remained under investigation.

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Three other drivers, all of whom complained of neck and back pain, were taken by ambulance to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital in Valencia, Sweeney said. They were treated and released Wednesday afternoon, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Sweeney identified the injured drivers as Cecilia Henkel, 48 of Valencia; Danielle Dauglash, 31, of Canyon Country, and Diana Gocke, 46, of Saugus.

At 7:40 a.m., Evans’ truck was traveling southbound on the transition road at a high rate of speed when he rounded a curve and approached slow-moving traffic on the Golden State Freeway, Sweeney said.

The truck, carrying a load of dirt, rear-ended Henkel’s Chevy Cavalier, swerved and rear-ended Dauglash’s Chevy Suburban and then hit Gocke’s Toyota Corolla, he said.

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The big-rig then sideswiped a Ford Explorer driven by Robert Hagen, 37, of Agua Dulce, Sweeney said, pinning the sport utility vehicle between the truck’s trailer and a freeway guardrail. Hagen was uninjured

The two vehicles slid approximately 50 yards along the guardrail between the roadway and a 200-foot drop and striking four more cars before coming to a stop, Sweeney said. The other four drivers were not injured.

A preliminary investigation revealed that the truck’s brakes were out of adjustment, Sweeney said.

The same big-rig, owned by Shano Trucking Co. of San Jose, Calif., was involved in an accident in November that investigators attributed to improperly adjusted brakes, Sweeney said.

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