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Fatality on I-5 Blocks Traffic for Hours

Most northbound lanes just south of Ortega Highway were closed through 2 p.m., the CHP says.

UPDATED AT 1:25 P.M. AND 2:14 P.M.

A fatal accident involving a tow truck forced the California Highway Patrol to close all northbound I-5 lanes at one point, but traffic is now flowing, according to a CHP spokesman.

Officer Chris Goodwin said the driver of a Lexus RX 350 was traveling at a high rate of speed when it ran into the flatbed tow truck at about 10:50 a.m. just south of Ortega Highway.

The driver of the Lexus, a 64-year-old man from Encinitas died, and the driver of the tow truck, a 41-year-old man from Garden Grove, was transported to Mission Hospital with minor injuries, Goodwin said.

According to a bulletin the city sent out, traffic on the I-5 was backed up to at least Avenida Pico in San Clemente.

"Northbound onramps are heavily impacted at this time; drivers are using alternate routes to access the freeway, which may be causing additional congestion on city streets near this area," the city's news alert states. "If possible, use alternate routes for northbound travel at this time."

Traffic was also moving at a snails pace in the northbound lanes of El Camino Real in San Clemente, which an Orange County Fire Authority dispatcher also attributed to the accident.

Mike Proctor October 10, 2012 at 05:35 PM
On the way to work, I drove by that shortly after it happen. What a mess. Thanks for the story, as i was curious to now what happen, and if the driver survived. The flat bed tow truck was off to the side of the road, so it appeared to look like a solo accident.
Heidi Delva November 24, 2012 at 06:03 AM
I was detoured off the freeway around 715pm rerouted back on past Dana point it took me 2 1/2 hours to get from irvine to Dana point
ms March 09, 2013 at 10:48 AM
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