LAKE ELSINORE (CBSLA.com) — At least one person was killed Sunday in a head-on crash that closed Route 74, the Ortega Highway, in both directions above Lake Elsinore.
Riverside County and U.S. Forest Service firefighters were called to the wreck at 8:43 a.m. on narrow, twisting Route 74, east of the Lookout Roadhouse, said Jody Hagemann of the Riverside County Fire Department.
The two-car crash resulted in three people trapped in the wreckage and requiring firefighter assistance for removal from the vehicles.
Firetrucks with hydraulic rescue equipment were reportedly stuck in heavy traffic.
All three people were originally reported with major injuries.
A CHP dispatcher later confirmed that at least one of those victims died.
Traffic was stalled surrounding the crash site and fire trucks with the necessary hydraulic equipment to free the victims were caught in the congestion.
One lane was reopened to alternating traffic at 10:15, CHP officers said, and both lanes cleared at 10:45 a.m.
The road was presumed to be crowded with traffic as drivers looked for detours to the 55-hour closure of the 91 Freeway in Corona.
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