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Second truck accident in as many days snarls 210 Fwy. traffic

September 29, 2010|By Megan O'Neil, megan.oneil@latimes.com
(Raul Roa/Staff…)

A big rig careened off the Foothill (210) Freeway this morning, coming to rest just behind a McDonald's restaurant in La Cañada Flintridge. No injuries were reported.

In what was the second big rig crash in as many days on the same stretch of highway, authorities said the driver apparently fell asleep at the wheel, causing his truck to veer out of control and crash on the eastbound 210 Freeway near the Gould Avenue exit. No other cars were involved.

Just before 5 a.m., the truck skimmed along the guard rail in the far right lane before plunging off the roadway, hitting a tree and coming to a stop behind the McDonald's restaurant, said California Highway Patrol Sgt. Shann Setter.

The right panel of the trailer was ripped off and roof peeled back, spilling its contents — hundreds of boxes of Campbell's soup — down the embankment. One car parked in the McDonald's parking lot sustained minor damage after being hit with debris, Setter said.

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Three of the four eastbound lanes were closed for several hours between Angeles Crest Highway and Gould Avenue, snarling morning traffic and forcing motorists onto Foothill Boulevard.

A man at the scene who identified himself as Luis Eduardo Barajas, the driver of the truck, said he was well rested when he started out from Willow Ridge, Calif. Tuesday afternoon.

"I think I closed my eyes for a couple of seconds and that was it," Barajas said.

He was wearing his seatbelt, and was able to pull himself out of the mangled cabin, he said.

It was the second big rig accident on the 210 Freeway in La Cañada in as many days. On Tuesday, the driver of a Nissan sedan fell asleep at the wheel and veered into the path of a truck on the eastbound 210 Freeway. The truck then overturned down an embankment at the Oceanview Boulevard onramp.

The drivers of the truck and the sedan sustained minor injuries.

Both accidents involved trucks from the GTI Gordon Trucking company.

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