A deadly multi-vehicle accident shut down traffic on the I-10 freeway in Santa Monica for several hours on June 6.
According to Robin Gee, Public Information Manager for the City of Santa Monica, two big rigs and a minivan were involved in an accident at about 12:37 p.m. inside the McClure tunnel. Seven people, all in the minivan, were injured and according to the California Highway Patrol, one person died in the crash.
Law enforcement officers said initial reports suggested at least one of the trucks failed to see stopped or slowing traffic which may have resulted in the crash.
Gee said two of the injured individuals were listed as critical while five had moderate injuries. The critical injuries were taken from the tunnel to the parking lot next to the Santa Monica Pier by ambulance and then loaded into a waiting helicopter.
One truck driver was evaluated but had no injuries and Gee said the second driver refused medical attention at the scene.
Traffic quickly backed up in both directions for several miles and police units eventually cleared the area by diverting Northbound traffic off at Lincoln Blvd. and southbound traffic at the California Incline on the Pacific Coast Highway. Traffic quickly flooded the surrounding neighborhoods as drivers searched for alternate routes to their destination.
Once the flow of traffic onto the freeway stopped, witnesses reported seeing officers direct drivers to make a u-turn and travel to the nearest exit.
The City of Santa Monica sent an email notification asking drivers to avoid the area and warning residents that the roadway would be closed until at least 5 p.m.