66-Car Pileup Halts Calif. Traffic

Passerby Rene Moore of Adelanto, Calif., keeps warm after a pileup on Interstate 15 in the Cajon Pass, Thursday, April 1, 2004, near Devore, Calif. Scores of big-rigs and cars tangled on Interstate 15 along fog-shrouded Cajon Pass, causing some vehicles to explode in flames in a series of chain-reaction pileups. Nearly two dozen people were injured.
Traffic on the main highway between Southern California and Las Vegas has begun moving again, hours after 66 vehicles collided in a series of chain-reaction crashes.

Tracey Martinez of the San Bernardino County Fire Department says the first collisions were reported on Interstate 15 in the Cajon pass shortly before seven am, in heavy fog. Five vehicles exploded in flames and several big-rig trucks jackknifed.

Nearly two dozen people were hurt. Martinez says "it's a miracle" none had major injuries. She says there were actually at least four sections of chain-reaction accidents along a two-mile stretch of the freeway.

Motorist Mert Littlefield, with blood running down his face, said the scariest part was being trapped for several minutes before getting out of his car.

Northbound traffic was backed up for hours.