At least one person was killed and nine others were injured in a fiery multi-vehicle crash that shut down the 5 Freeway for eight hours along Griffith Park Tuesday, firefighters said.
The collision, which involved a big rig and tanker truck near Colorado Street, forced the closure of the southbound lanes, with traffic reduced to two lanes on the northbound side.
Traffic was flowing again on both sides by 7 p.m.
About 11 a.m., one of the big rigs jumped the center divider and caused the crash and fire that followed, CHP officials said. Aerial footaged showed firefighters dousing a big rig trailer destroyed by flames. A tanker truck, van, pickup truck and two other vehicles were also involved in the crash.
"Everybody slammed on the brakes. There was an explosion," said Angel Bariz, a witness.
A triage area was set up just north of the wreck. One of the victims, a 27-year-old woman, was taken to the hospital in critical condition and eight others suffered "lesser" injuries, the Los Angeles Fire Department said. A dog was also found dead at the scene.
All but the driver of the big rig with the box trailer has been accounted for.
By 5 p.m. crews had cleared much of the wreckage, including the big rig with the box trailer that crossed through the center divider. Its driver is believed to be the fatality.
The tanker truck appeared to belong to DDG Transport. Darrel Green, speaking to NBC4 on behalf of the company, said the tanker was hauling milk and its driver called to report being safe.
"He had to use somebody else's phone because he just jumped out of the truck," Green said.
[UPDATED 4/25] Southern California Traffic Headaches
Some 75 firefighters from the LAFD and other nearby agencies responded to the crash.
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NBC4's Rosa Ordaz and Patrick Healy contributed to this report.