Fatal crash snarled sb Newhall Pass for more than 8 hours
Five people were killed, including four young children, in a three-vehicle crash during a downpour on the Golden State (5) Freeway in the Newhall Pass early today. The collision occurred in southbound lanes near the junction with the Antelope Valley (14) Freeway and was reported at 12:14 a.m., California Highway Patrol Officer Anthony Martin said.
According to broadcast reports, a Nissan sedan containing six people spun out and was struck by a Mazda pickup truck.
“There were four fatal victims in the sedan … pronounced dead at the scene,” said Inspector Matt Levesque of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
Those children were Xochitl M. Hernandez, 5, Edgar A. Hernandez, 8, Cynthia J. Hernandez, 9, all of Whittier and 12-year-old Luis Villegas of Oakland, said Assistant Chief Ed Winter of the coroner’s office.
Levesque said the Nissan was hit from the rear, killing the children and critically injuring the man and woman in the front seats.
“The impact from the crash pushed the trunk into the rear seat,” Levesque said. “All victims in the sedan required extrication.”
The driver of the overturned truck, identified as John J. Blackburn, 53, of Frazier Park, was pronounced dead at the scene, Levesque said.
People in a third vehicle suffered minor injuries and were taken to hospitals for treatment.
The crash closed all three southbound auto lanes, and diverted all Los Angeles-bound traffic to the parallel two-lane truck bypass through the pass. The closure on the busy Golden State (5) freeway backed up traffic for miles on it and The Old Road, and spillover traffic clogged the 14 freeway as well. Lanes were reopened at 8:41 a.m.
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