Big-rig crash kills driver, ties up the 405

Times Staff Writer

A deadly big-rig crash Tuesday morning on the southbound 405 Freeway near Los Angeles International Airport caused massive traffic delays, as authorities spent most of the day clearing wreckage from the busy roadway.

California Highway Patrol officials say a truck carrying a crane hit the center divider about 4:45 a.m. near the La Tijera Boulevard exit and caught fire. The 40-year-old male driver, whose name was not released, died at the scene. The cause of the accident remained under investigation late Tuesday, authorities said.

“Everything is very preliminary,” said Officer Blase Austin, a CHP spokesman.

The cleanup effort blocked several lanes in both directions for miles, Austin said. Even surface streets near LAX were temporarily affected during the early-morning commute, according to an airport spokesman.

Officials urged commuters to find alternate routes throughout the day. All the freeway lanes were reopened before 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, officials said.


Caltrans officials assessed the damage to the divider and determined no major repairs were needed, Caltrans spokeswoman Deborah Harris said.