An off-duty L.A.County firefighter was identified as the man killed in a freeway collision near Sand Canyon Road after his Jeep crashed into a Caltrans vehicle Wednesday.
The driver was declared dead at the scene, said Fire Department Inspector Joey Marron.
Within a couple of hours of news circulating that one of their own had died in the crash, several firefighters joined a procession that escorted delivery of the body to the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner.
The firefighter’s identity was not released pending notification of his family.
“There was a procession going along Golden Valley Road at one point to the Coroner’s Office,” said Fire Department Inspector Scott Elliott.
“A lot of people (were) showing their respect,” he said, noting several of the participants in the procession work for fire stations in Battalion 6, one of two battalions serving the Santa Clarita Valley.
The crash happened about 11:17 a.m., involving a Jeep and a Caltrans GMC 3500 with a dump truck bed, on the northbound lanes of Highway 14, south of Sand Canyon Road, said California Highway Patrol Officer Josh Greengard.
The Caltrans vehicle was part of a sweeper detail, which was driving within the northbound center median, he said.
The driver of the Jeep suffered fatal injuries, Greengard said. The driver of the Caltrans vehicle sustained moderate injuries and was transported to Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital.
“Initial information indicates the Jeep struck the rear of the Caltrans vehicle in the vicinity of the center median/HOV lane,” Greengard said.
The northbound HOV, or carpool lane, and the lane next to it remained closed at 1:40 p.m.
Shortly after 11:15 a.m., firefighters with the Los Angeles County Fire Department were dispatched to the crash. When they arrived before noon, they immediately began efforts to free the driver trapped in the vehicle, but he was declared dead at the scene.
Traffic was stopped on the highway as rescue crews arrived and it remained closed for most of the afternoon.