5 big rigs burn in 2 fiery crashes near Lebec

Firefighters inspect the damage to big rigs that collided near Lebec early Thursday morning. Photo by Jeff Zimmerman, for The Signal.

Two early morning multi-truck fiery crashes at the Kern County line – one involving two big rigs, the other three big rigs – ended with all five trucks destroyed.

At least one person was injured and taken to the hospital.

Both traffic collisions happened near Lebec in the southbound lanes of Interstate 5 as the truckers were making their way through the Grapevine early Thursday morning.

The first crash happened about 2 a.m. when two big rigs collided in the southbound lanes of I-5, just south of Lebec, Inspector Richard Licon of the Los Angeles County Fire Department said.

“This was a mutual aid response with the Kern County Fire Department,” he said, referring to firefighters from both Kern County and Los Angeles County responding to the same incident.

“It ended up that there were two separate incidents,” Licon said. “Resulting in several semi trucks on fire.  A water tender was dispatched as well.”

The second crash happened about 2:30 a.m., at the same area near Lebec, when three big rigs collided.

“Several big rigs became entangled and burst into flame, closing Interstate 5 near Grapevine and Lebec,” said Photographer Jeff Zimmerman who photographed the carnage.

“Los Angeles County and Kern County Firefighters worked this incident for the better part of two hours,” he said. “One patient was transported by ambulance for injuries.

“The  second accident was also reported to Kern County Fire on the southbound 5 near the Grapevine exit about 30 minutes after the first accident,” Zimmerman said. “Three semi trucks collided for unknown reasons and also burst into flame.

“It appeared all drivers made it out of this accident uninjured but the trucks were completely destroyed and debris was strewn all across the number 3 and 4 lane of traffic, blocking traffic clear back to Arvin,” he said.

The distance between Arvin and Lebec is about 30 miles.

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