Two big rigs collided, killing one and seriously injuring two and blocking the eastbound Pomona (60) Freeway for much of Saturday. One truck hit another that had pulled over for an earlier collision. Whit Johnson reports from Diamond Bar for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Oct. 19, 2012.
One person was killed and all lanes of the eastbound Pomona (60) Freeway were blocked on Friday after two big rigs collided in chain-reaction crashes.
Three people were hospitalized, two with serious injuries, after the crashes occurred at about 11 a.m. between Diamond Bar Boulevard and Chino Hills Parkway (map)
Three lanes were reopened at about 6 p.m. All eastbound lanes were open shortly after 7 p.m.
The eastbound portion of the freeway was shutdown for hours as authorities attempted to haul the wreckage of one of the big rigs off the road, causing miles of traffic backup.
Fire-rescue teams extricated victims from wreckage. A rescue helicopter landed on the freeway to transport at least one victim.
California Highway Patrol officials said a big rig and a box truck initially collided in a minor accident. The vehicles pulled over, and then both drivers and a passenger in the box truck got out to discuss the crash.
They were standing in between the two trucks when another big rig veered off the road and slammed into the back of the parked big rig, pinning the three people from the first crash in between the two vehicles.
The big rig that slammed into the parked vehicles then fell onto its side, spilling a load of bananas across the freeway.
The box-truck driver died on scene; the passenger was taken to the hospital in critical condition. The big-rig driver from the initial incident was also hospitalized with serious injuries.
The driver of the third truck had some pain and was also taken to the hospital.
At about 2 p.m., CHP officers began escorting drivers off the freeway, which was backed up for miles. The coroner arrived at about 2 p.m. to remove the body.
CHP is still investigating why the third truck veered off the road.
"It's very tragic for all parties involved," said CHP spokeswoman Kerri Rivas, saying the agency has campaigned against distracted driving.
"In a real fast second, terrible things can happen," she added.
View Big rig crash on Eastbound 60 Freeway in a larger map