UPDATE: Semi Truck Overturns On 15 Freeway In Wildomar

The crash was reported shortly before midnight.

UPDATE Aug. 31 at 10:45 a.m.: A stopped car on the southbound 15 Freeway in Wildomar triggered a crash involving a semi truck that overturned and led to a long-term closure of the interstate this morning.

According to a report from the California Highway Patrol, shortly before midnight reports came in of an unoccupied 1985 red Camaro stopped in the southbound slow lane of traffic, just south of the Clinton Keith Road exit.

A 1996 Freightliner semi driven by 42-year-old Dennis Santiago of San Diego came upon the scene and swerved to the left to avoid a collision, but was unable to avoid smashing into the stalled Camaro. The semi also took out a 1996 Honda driven by Johnathan Forno, 30, of Corona, the CHP reported.

The semi and the Honda smashed into the center median guardrail, and the big rig -- which was carrying 40 gallons of diesel fuel -- overturned.

The crash was reported at 11:57 p.m. Thursday.

Santiago suffered a minor laceration on his head and was transported to a local hospital; Forno was uninjured, according to CHP.

The southbound side of the freeway was shut down at the exit until just after 4:30 a.m. Friday to clean the spill, and CHP officers had directed southbound traffic onto the center divide and back onto Clinton Keith Road for a period.

In order to upright and clear the semi from the center divide, CHP had to continue running traffic breaks on the freeway and the Clinton Keith Road onramp to the southbound I-15 until after 7:30 a.m. today.

Several agencies had reported earlier on the incident. According to a Twitter message sent out by Caltrans early Friday morning, the semi was carrying a pesticide. However, a report from Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department sent out after 6 a.m. stated the contents of the tanker were non-hazardous.

There were no arrests made today, and CHP did not release details on the registered owner of the Camaro.

According to preliminary reports from CHP that came in just before the crash, a man was standing outside the Camaro, attempting to flag traffic. There is no word on his identity.

Constant Comment August 31, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Wow! Talk about lucky! }~0
ADGIRL September 01, 2012 at 05:08 PM
So, your telling me that this accident (although very large) took 8 hours (actually more) to clear out!? I find that absolutley ridiculous. Just saying.
Susan Olson September 01, 2012 at 07:37 PM
I heard the truck driver was swerving down the freeway as he was asleep at the wheel! They say that driving tired is more dangerous than driving drunk and the owner of the Camaro sure was lucky! I also heard that the semi truck hit the "K" rail about 80 feet before slamming into the Camaro and the owner of the "K" rail had to jump the "K" rail or he would have been hit by the semi also - which saved his life!
Brenda September 03, 2012 at 06:21 AM
Thank God no one died in this, and its unreal that no one did. When a semi is involved they take out alot of cars with them usually. Would like to know what exactly caused it.


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