Major storm, minor traffic collisions

Los Angeles County Fire Department firefighters assist with an overturned big rig along the southbound I-5 north of Magic Mountain Parkway Friday. Dan Watson/The Signal

A major storm moving into the Santa Clarita Valley brought with it several minor crashes and few injuries, emergency response officials reported Friday morning.

“This rain is just pouring down,” California Highway Patrol Officer Josh Greengard told The Signal Friday morning, noting there were more than a dozen incidents of vehicles hitting the center divider, going down embankments and spinning out.

“There have been no major injuries so far,” he said. “Hopefully, it stays that way.  We’d like to keep our motorists safe.”

Lt. Bryan Aguilera, of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, made the same observation about inner-city drivers.

A truck passes through a flooded area along Lyons Avenue, 23700 block, in Newhall. Dan Watson/The Signal

“We’ve had nothing significant at this point,” he said shortly after 10 a.m.

“We did have a tree down on McBean Parkway near CalArts,” he said.

The tree fell across McBean, partially blocking eastbound lanes, just east of the California Institute of the Arts.

Aguilera said the tree hit no vehicles, structures or people.

City of Santa Clarita work crews were called to remove the tree, he said.

“It is blocking three lanes but cars can still get past in the turn lane,” City of Santa Clarita spokeswoman Carrie Lujan said.

“It should be cleared in about an hour,” she said, meaning by 11:30 a.m.

A downed tree on McBean Parkway near the California Institute of the Arts’ campus. Austin Dave/The Signal

Inspector Joey Marron of the Los Angeles County Fire Department said paramedics responded to several traffic collisions in and around the Santa Clarita Valley Friday morning but none of them resulted in serious injury.

Interstate traffic around Magic Mountain Parkway proved particularly crash-prone Friday morning with emergency response crews responding to at least four significant crashes there.

Shortly after 10:30 a.m., firefighters responded to reports of a big rig travelling in the southbound lanes that went over the side and down a 50-foot embankment

The driver managed to free himself from the overturned truck.

A motorist northbound on the I-5 spun out near Magic Mountain Parkway shortly before 9 a.m., left the roadway, hit a ditch and ended up in the trees on the 26000 block of Rockwell Canyon Road.

“This was for a black sedan that spun out. An ambulance was called but then cancelled,” Marron said, noting the driver was not taken to the hospital.

While paramedics were responding to the crash, a second motorist in a white sedan, also northbound on the I-5, spun out and hit the center divider wall, and was then hit by another motorist, according to the CHP.

Spin outs were also reported in the northbound lanes of Highway 14 at Sierra Highway at 10 p.m. and in the southbound lanes of the same highway at Via Princessa.  No one from either crash was seriously hurt.

Inner city crashes numbered many but none of them serious.

One car spun out on Newhall Ranch Road at Copper Hill Drive, near Walmart, shortly after 9:30 a.m., flipping onto its roof, Inspector Joey Marron of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

“The driver self-extracated,” he said, meaning the driver managed to get out of the overturned car on his own.

“The rain does not cause crashes,” CHP Officer Josh Greengard said.  “It is ultimately the driver behind the wheel that causes crashes.”

“Motorists have to slow down,” he said.

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