Multiple Vehicle Crash on I-10 leaves One Man Dead, Several Injured
CREATED Mar. 9, 2012
INDIO--A multi-vehicle accident shutdown all eastbound lanes of I-10 Friday in Indio.
At 8am Friday morning, a big rig truck jacknifed in the eastbound lanes at Jefferson Street. That resulted in a deadly collision that closed eastbound I-10 for nearly 3 hours.
Authorities are calling Friday's collision a mass casualty incident. The crash was so bad traffic was backed for nearly 7 miles. But unlike previous freeway closures drivers took this one in stride..
Bodies taken from the scene of a horrific traffic accident on the 10 freeway. One man, 53-year-old Harry Griffith of Redwood City died on scene. 2 people were taken to Desert Regional Medical Center with moderate injuries, 3 more people escaped unharmed.
"It was a half an hour of misery not really knowing why i'm in stop and go traffic," said motorist Matt Wallick.
"We've been delayed at least an hour, at least an hour, not knowing what was going on it wasn't any fun, barely moving," said motorist Janice Williams.
For reasons still under investigation, a big rig stopped suddenly, forcing a second big rig directly behind to swerve left, rear-ending the first big rig. He then continued left striking a Dodge sedan, the driver of that car died. The big rig then continued left and side-swiped a Jaguar, before crashing into the center divider, blocking all lanes of the freeway, causing a Toyota sedan to run directly into the jack-knifed big rig, the driver of that car sustained moderate injuries.
"Oh that's really sad," Williams said. "I'm just thankful we weren't in it we'll get there when we get there."
All lanes of easbound I-10 were completely shut down for nearly 3 hours. But unlike the construction caused backup that stranded thousands of drivers on the I-10 in February, Caltrans had a plan in place, drivers warned of what was ahead.
"Everybody has been again re-informed about the policies who to communicate to up the chain of command so we've all kept in very good communication with whats been going on," said Caltrans spokesperson Michelle Profant.
Still for some passengers like frances diaz the crash derailed their plans.
"Well i'm on my way to arizona for the birth of my first great-grand baby and we were doing fine for what the first 100 miles and then all of a sudden just dead stopped on the freeway," said motorist Frances Diaz. "I don't even know how long we've been sitting there."
But the gravity of the crash had people reconsidering their frusration from delays.
"Somebody lost their life or multiple peoples lives it instantly changes," Wallick said. "I think that's a little more serious then my half hour stuck in traffic."
No arrests were made. All passengers involved were wering seat belts and CHP is investigating why the first big rig stopped so abruptly.