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Traffic ‘not worse’ than other holidays

Big rig burns on Interstate 5; Ferrari flips on Sand Canyon Road

Posted: September 2, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: September 2, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Firefighters water down the wreckage of a big rig on the northbound Interstate 5 north of Templin Highway on Sunday.

A big rig caught fire and burned to its axles Saturday on the northbound Interstate 5 and repaving slowed traffic farther north, but overall the get-out-of-town rush was relatively problem-free as Labor Day Weekend dawned, law-enforcement officials said.

“For a holiday weekend it’s been average,” said Sgt. Diana Johnson with the California Highway Patrol Newhall office, “not worse than any other holiday weekend.”

The truck fire shut down all but two lanes of the northbound I-5 a half-mile north of Templin Highway at 11 a.m. The fire ignited a quarter-acre of brush next to the freeway before it was extinguished about 11:30 a.m.

A fuel leak touched off the blaze, officials said. One witness said the backup was a mile long.

Further north on the I-5, lane barriers narrowed traffic again due to pavement refinishing. Although work wasn’t going on during the holiday weekend, a CHP official said, the barriers remained in place.

In Canyon Country, a Ferrari flipped over on Sand Canyon Road near Placerita Canyon Road at 10:20 a.m. Saturday, Johnson said.

The driver of the vehicle suffered minor injuries, and the vehicle was totalled, said CHP Officer Pete Bishop, who responded to the crash.

“It’s been pretty normal and smooth,” CHP officer Patiana Sauquillo said of traffic throughout Los Angeles County on Saturday. “Monday might be a little worse.”

“The higher gas prices may be keeping people home,” she said.

Gas prices rose for the holiday weekend in Southern California, according to a AAA news release. The average price for a gallon of gas in Los Angeles was $4.16 during the week, 33 cents higher than this time last year, the news release said.

In the Santa Clarita Valley on Saturday, gas ranged from $4.03 a gallon at a club membership store to $4.25 a gallon at a Shell gas station on Bouquet Canyon Road, according to Most gas stations were selling a gallon of gas for $4.17, according to the website.

CHP officials reminded motorists that officers would be out in force all weekend searching for impaired and speeding drivers.

Last Labor Day weekend, 29 people were killed in traffic collisions in California — a 38 percent increase from the year before. An average of 1,500 people are arrested across the state for impaired driving during Labor Day weekend every year, according to the CHP.


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