UPDATED AT 9:41 p.m.: An overturned big rig that shut down Ortega Highway for nearly six hours has been uprighted and tow operators have cleared the wreckage from the roadway.
The crash was reported at approximately 4 p.m. Monday, just east of The Lookout Roadhouse.
No injuries were reported as a result of the crash, but the tractor and its trailers -- which were loaded with sand -- overturned in the eastbound lane.
Tow trucks had attempted to upright the wreckage throughout the evening without success. Finally, at approximately 8:30 p.m., the tractor trailer was placed back on its wheels, but it took more than an hour before the big rig could be moved and the road reopened.
The state route was closed intermittently Monday as a result of the crash. Eastbound traffic was allowed to pass at times, but westbound traffic was closed at Grand Avenue shortly after the incident.
The crash caused significant delays for motorists attempting to head eastbound during rush-hour traffic, according to CHP officer Brian Keene. At times, eastbound traffic was backed up into Orange County.
According to Keene, the big-rig driver was not feeling well and crashed during a "cough attack." Keene reported the driver was traveling eastbound at approximately 20 to 30 mph when he began coughing. His rear trailer tipped and he struck the side of the mountain, Keene said.
Brandon Dunn, 22, was behind the wheel of the truck and confirmed, "I was choking real bad. I looked back and I saw my second trailer starting to tip. There was nothing I could do."
Dunn, who works for CTI, said he was hauling approximately 80 tons of sand from San Juan Capistrano to San Bernardino.
Drugs and alcohol do not appear to be factors in the crash.
"It was an accident," Keene said. --Daniel Lane contributed to this report.