A five-vehicle crash on the 10 Freeway Saturday sent five people to the hospital, two of them via helicopter, authorities said.
The collision was first reported just before 10 a.m. on the westbound 10 Freeway at Via Verde, according to California Highway Patrol logs.
It involved a Volkswagen Beetle, a Mazda minivan, a Buick sedan, a Ford F-250 pickup truck and a Chevy Blazer SUV, which overturned, CHP Officer Roberto Jimenez said.
A 58-year-old Baldwin Park woman driving the Volkswagen had to be freed from the wreckage by firefighters, Los Angeles County Fire Department Firefighter Scott Gibbs said.
She and another woman, who was driving the Buick, were flown to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center for treatment.
The Volkswagen driver suffered significant injuries including major lacerations, a dislocated hip and other trauma, Jimenez said. The woman who was driving the Buick, 50, appeared to have less serious injuries, but was also flown to the hospital as a precaution.
Rescuers landed on the eastbound lanes of the freeway to pick up the woman, officials said.
A man, woman and toddler inside the overturned SUV were taken to a hospital via ambulance for examination, though all appeared to be okay, Jimenez said.
The little boy who was riding in the SUV was properly belted in to a child safety seat.
The drivers of the pickup truck and the Mazda minivan also appeared to have suffered no significant injuries, officials said.
The chain reaction crash took place when traffic suddenly slowed do to a spun out care ahead of the crash scene, Jimenez said.
The driver of the Ford pickup truck was unable to stop in time to avoid the vehicles ahead of him and slammed into the Buick sedan at full speed, Jimenez said.
The Buick was then pushed forward into the Volkswagen, which then struck the Chevy SUV, which struck the minivan before overturning, he said.
Nothing criminal was initially suspected in what was being investigated as an accident, Jimenez said.
All traffic lanes in both directions of the 10 Freeway were briefly shut down following the crash, however a Sig Alert was not declared, CHP Officer Ed Jacobs said. The westbound lanes were directly affected by the crash, while the eastbound lanes had to be shut down to accommodate the landing of fire department helicopter.
Traffic reportedly backed up for several miles, and CHP logs listed reports of drivers exiting their vehicles and getting into fights, as well as driving over embankments and along the right shoulder to get out of the jam.
The cause of the crash was being investigated by officers from the Baldwin Park office of the CHP.
PHOTO courtesy of Mitchell Crawford, San Dimas