MURRIETA – Officials were left dealing with a “sticky mess” after a pickup truck and a big rig hauling asphalt slurry collided. The collision caused the big rig to overturn, spilling slurry across the roadway Thursday, April 20. The accident happened in the northbound lanes near the junction of Interstates 15 and 215.
The crash, which was first reported at 12:07 p.m., and subsequent clean-up efforts, forced a SigAlert and caused a traffic nightmare for afternoon commuters.
The two vehicles were described as a lifted, Chevy Silverado pickup and a 3-axle, 10-wheel, road sealing big rig. The big rig ended up on its side after the collision and the Chevy ended up facing the wrong way on the freeway.
No one was injured in the collision, according to California Highway Patrol Public Information Officer Mike Lassig.
Multiple lanes of the freeway were left blocked after the rollover accident and traffic immediately began back up, making it difficult for emergency first responders to reach the scene.
With several of the northbound lanes blocked by the accident, CHP officials called for a SigAlert just before 12:20 p.m.
A heavy-duty wrecker and a flatbed tow truck were summoned to the scene to assist with righting the over-turned big rig so it could be towed from the location; however, traffic backed up so far that responding tow trucks became stuck in the traffic and could not reach the scene of the accident.
Tow drivers eventually had to receive permission from CHP officials to use the right hand shoulder of the freeway, just to be able to reach the location where the accident happened.
Caltrans officials responded to the scene to assess the situation and determine the quickest way to remove the relatively small amount of slurry that had spilled onto the roadway.
“The slurry is non-hazardous,” Lassig explained as clean up efforts got underway, “but it’s going to be a sticky mess.”
All lanes were reportedly reopened by 2:45 p.m.
CHP officials are investigating the cause of the accident. Their investigation is active and ongoing.