NEAR HESPERIA (CBSLA) – The northbound 15 Freeway was shut down for about three hours Christmas morning in Hesperia, near the Cajon Pass, after a chain-reaction crash involving dozens of vehicles amid icy, snowy conditions.
The chain-reaction collision involving about 40 cars, trucks and big rigs took place at around 6:30 a.m. on northbound 15 Freeway, south of Oak Hill Road, according to the California Highway Patrol.
By 8:30 a.m., Caltrans reported that the entire northbound side of the freeway was shut down. The panic-stricken scene was caught on cell phone video, as drivers who had already pulled over watched cars sail down the freeway unaware of what lay ahead.
"I ended up crashing into a couple people, I didn't hurt nobody though," driver Andrew Wheeler said. "The car just went one way, no matter how much you steered, counter-steered, whatever, you just couldn't do anything."
Video showed vehicles with varying levels of damage, some appearing totaled, others spun out in the roadway and on the shoulder. Several San Bernardino County Fire Department engines and ambulances were on scene.
According to CHP, nine people were taken to three different hospitals with moderate injuries.
"Cars were just flying and hitting and hitting and hitting, thank God that I'm OK," driver Yolanda Hernandez said.
The freeway was fully reopened by 10:30 a.m. Some drivers were stuck behind the pileup for up to three hours.
The CHP is working to determine whether some of the drivers involved in the wreck were traveling at safe speeds. Anyone with information on the pileup should call CHP at 909-383-4247.
Meanwhile, a winter weather advisory was in effect through 10 p.m. Tuesday for mountain systems in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, excluding the Santa Monica Mountains. Two to four inches of snow are expected at elevations above 6,000 feet, with another inch at elevations above 4,000 feet, the National Weather Service reports.
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