LODI (CBS13) — Two people are dead after a fiery crash on northbound I-5 near Lodi that had the road closed for five hours Thursday. The road was backed up for miles after the 7:30 a.m. crash.
“I came up and saw the car spin out and go to the side of the toad and the truck lit up and started smoking and it was pretty much a bonfire until the firemen got here,” says truck driver Peter Van Valkenburg.READ MORE: Patterson Man Arrested On Suspicion Of Homicide After Body Found In California Aqueduct
Van Valkenburg was a few cars behind the chain reaction collision involving four big rigs and several cars.
CHP says a big rig came up in the #3 lane and rear-ended a silver sedan. A 50-year-old man in that car and a 36-year-old man from Tracy in a pickup truck died.
“I try to help these people but it’s too late-the flames come up real quick,” says truck driver Guillermo Cabrera.
A Stockton woman in another car was transported to an area hospital for minor injuries.READ MORE: Police: 8 Molotov Cocktails Found In Car Of West Sacramento Arson Suspect
Caltrans says “That’s exactly the kind of thing we have our guys out here to try to avoid.”
And the slowdown that led to this was related to a separate crash further up the road involving another tractor-trailer and a car.
“They had a truck out here with lights on it saying slow traffic ahead,” says a Caltrans rep.
No Caltrans construction crews will be in the road over the Memorial Day weekend except in the event of an emergency. But truck drivers say everyone needs to stay alert on the road, especially when some are carrying such heavy loads.MORE NEWS: 'This Is Not Just Any Usual Recovery': Economist Explains Rash Of Price Hikes, Product Shortages
CHP has not charged anyone yet in this crash.