SANTA CRUZ COUNTY (CBS SF) -- A fatal accident involving 11 cars and a big rig shut down all lanes of North Highway 17 between Summit and Bear Creek roads and one southbound lane Thursday morning.
The California Highway Patrol called it a "very graphic, horrific scene .... like a war zone," after at least eight are people injured and one person is dead in the wreckage strewn across an eighth of a mile.
CHP said the driver of a big rig pulling a double load of sand lost control while going northbound on Highway 17 causing a chain reaction crash before jumping the guardrail and ending up on Old Santa Cruz Highway frontage road.
Three of the vehicles were damaged so badly that they trapped people inside.
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The crash was reported at about 7:50 a.m., and CHP issued a Sig-alert at 8:16 a.m.
CHP called at least five ambulances and a life flight helicopter to the scene.
Fatal Highway 17 Crash In Santa Clara County Causes Major Traffic Problems
Northbound traffic is being turned around at Summit Road, and state Highway 9 is being used as alternative to Highway 17, CHP said.
The northbound lanes of Highway 17 will remain closed until about 5 p.m.
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