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UPDATE: Snow closes Grapevine in both directions

24 cars collide in snowy pass; two utility poles knocked down in Canyon Country

Posted: February 8, 2013 5:01 p.m.
Updated: February 8, 2013 6:13 p.m.

California Highway Patrol officials report at least 24 vehicles collided on Interstate 5 through the Grapevine on Friday and four people were taken to the hospital as the Tejon Pass was shut down due to snow. Photo courtesy of Jeff Zimmerman.

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At least 24 vehicles collided on Interstate 5 and four people were injured Friday as snow fell in the Grapevine area, shutting down California’s main north-south artery.

Four people were transported from the scene of the pileup to area hospitals, according to California Highway Patrol reports. The crash occurred on the northbound lanes of I-5 in the Tejon Pass.

Courtney Dawson, a CHP dispatcher, said slippery road conditions led to the traffic incident near Gorman School Road, but there was little damage among the vehicles.

Earlier Friday, a vehicle slid under a hot tar tanker truck on Interstate 5 near Smokey Bear Road, but no injuries were reported. That collision occurred around 12:30 p.m.

A Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station official said cars were slipping and sliding around the valley after rain began in earnest around 4 p.m.

Two separate traffic collisions in Canyon Country knocked over utility poles, he said.

The first collision occurred at 4:06 p.m. when a car crashed into a pole on Golden Valley Road, according to Sgt. Brian Allen. The pole blocked traffic on Golden Valley for a time.

In a separate collision, two cars crashed into a utility pole near the intersection of Whites Canyon Road and Delight Street around 5:22 p.m., possibly causing a transformer to explode, Allen said.

The collision also downed wires into the backyards of several homes in the area.

The cold winter storm that swept into the Santa Clarita Valley on Friday was expected bring rain and drop snow levels as low as 2,500 feet overnight, but by Saturday it’s expected to blow out of the area.

Mostly sunny weather but low temperatures are forecast through the weekend, according to the National Weather Service. Highs are expected to be 53 Saturday, 57 Sunday and 59 Monday, with lows in the 30s.

It was unclear when Interstate 5 would reopen, said CHP Officer Adriaan Garcia said. It was shut down over the Tejon Pass around 4:15 p.m. at Parker Road in Castaic northbound and at Grapevine Road southbound, according to the CHP.

“It all just depends on Mother Nature at this point,” Garcia said of the freeway reopening.
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