Fatal crash closes lanes on I-5 near Lebec

Firefighters douse a small fire caused by a collision on the I-5 near Smokey Bear Road. Courtesy photo: Jeff Zimmerman

All lanes have reopened on the northbound Interstate 5 at Smokey Bear Road near Lebec on Saturday morning, after a sedan rear-ended a big rig, which caused the death of the smaller vehicle’s driver.

California Highway Patrol units were initially called to the scene at 6:35 a.m., according to CHP Officer Moises Marroquin. A Honda collided with the back end of a big rig, which blocked all lanes, according to CHP Officer Josh Greengard. All traffic was diverted to the right shoulder.

The driver of the Honda was declared dead at the scene, Greengard said.

“Excess speed from the Honda looked to be the factor in the collision,” he added.

At 7:39 a.m., all lanes were initially blocked, and the first and second lanes remained closed as of 9 a.m., according to Marroquin.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department was dispatched after the initial call went out and doused a fire caused by the collision, Greengard said. The Los Angeles County Coroner arrived on the scene to remove the body at 9 a.m., Greengard said.

CHP units, with the help of tow trucks, worked to clear the freeway of debris as of 9:58 a.m., according to Greengard. By 10:34 a.m., all lanes reopened, he said.

The Coroner’s Office has not yet released the driver’s identity.

This is a breaking news story. We will update as soon as more information is obtainable.

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