Fiery big rig crash slows commute on 210 Freeway in Irwindale

IRWINDALE — A big rig driver escaped a fiery crash without injury early Wednesday after falling asleep at the wheel on the Foothill (210) Freeway, authorities said.
A 32-year-old Rancho Cucamonga man was headed west on the freeway in a 2000 Freightliner, just east of Irwindale Avenue, about 3:30 a.m. when he fell asleep and allowed the truck to veer toward the left, California Highway Patrol officials said in a written statement.
The out-of-control truck veered across two traffic lanes and the carpool lane before striking the concrete center divider, officials said. It scraped along the center divider for a distance of about 1,000 feet before coming to a rest west of Irwindale Avenue.
The driver managed to get out of the badly damaged truck and made his way to the right shoulder.
“(The Freightliner’s) fuel tank was damaged during the collision and the fuel contained inside ignited, eventually engulfing (the truck),” according to the CHP statement.
The fire consumed the tractor of the truck, however the trailer did not burn, Sgt. Mike Dulong said. It contained non-flammable concrete slurry.
All lanes of both directions of the 210 Freeway were shut down at the crash scene, CHP officials said. Officers gradually opened lanes as the cleanup operation allowed.
The carpool add fast lanes of the eastbound and westbound sides of the freeway remained shut down until after 7 p.m.

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