Fiery crash involving SUV, tanker truck shuts down Los Angeles freeway

HAWTHORNE, Calif. (CNS) - A fiery crash involving a tanker truck and an SUV on westbound Interstate 105 in Hawthorne Friday morning left two people dead and prompted closure of the freeway in both directions, authorities said.

Officers responded about 5:15 a.m. to the westbound freeway near Prairie Avenue, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Two people were killed in the crash, the Los Angeles County Fire Department reported. According to reports from the scene, both drivers were killed.

The crash and fire backed up traffic on I-105 in both directions for several miles, leading many motorists to either park their vehicles to wait out the situation or turn around to get away from the gridlock.

The Los Angeles Times reported that a food truck stopped on the carpool lane and opened for business, serving those who were stranded on the roadway with nowhere to go.

About 8 a.m., the eastbound freeway was reopened, but westbound lanes remained blocked. It was unclear how long the westbound closure would remain in effect.

The tanker fire burned for more than an hour, and some fuel spilled onto the roadway shoulder, where firefighters dammed the flow so crews could clean up the spill.

Metro Green Line service was suspended between the Hawthorne/Lennox and Vermont/Athens stations due to the fire, Metro spokesman Jose Ubaldo said, adding bus bridges were provided for rail passengers affected by the closure.

Metro crews had to wait for permission from first responders to enter the affected area so they could assess the damage to the rail system, Ubaldo said.

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