A child and three adults were killed in a fiery crash Thursday evening when an SUV rear-ended a stopped big rig on the northbound 5 Freeway in Santa Clarita, officials said.
According to a statement from the California Highway Patrol, the crash occurred just before 7:30 p.m. when a black SUV traveling at high speed slammed into the rear of the truck and trailer, which was stopped on the right shoulder of the freeway north of Weldon Canyon Road.
The driver of the SUV and his three passengers — two males and a female — died at the scene, the CHP said. The child in the SUV appeared to be younger than 10, the agency said. The driver of the big rig was uninjured.
The crash caused the SUV to catch fire, and the flames spread to the trailer, which was loaded with lumber. The flames charred a hillside next to the freeway before being extinguished by Los Angeles County Fire Department crews, the CHP said.
First responders arrived to find the SUV stuck beneath the truck and engulfed in flames, authorities said. The crash snarled traffic all the way to the 210 Freeway late Thursday as several lanes were shut down.
Authorities towed the big rig off the freeway and reopened all northbound lanes shortly after 7 a.m. Friday, according to the CHP.
Investigators are trying to determine what caused the crash. Anyone with information is asked to call the CHP’s Newhall office at (661) 294-5540.