California’s High Winds Wreak Havoc on Big Rigs
San Bernardino County, CA – Intense winds were the cause of at least five tractor-trailer being blown over on the 15 Freeway in California on Wednesday.
According to the San Bernardino County Fire Department (SBCFD), reports of toppled semis began coming in just after 9:30 a.m. on October 30 when three big rigs overturned on the freeway in both directions near Sierra Avenue by Fontana.
“[The overturned semis] were literally 100 yards apart from each other,” said Jimmy Schiller of SBCFD.
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) reported two additional semis overturned in nearby San Bernardino at approximately 11 a.m.
Authorities said all five of the overturned semis were hauling empty trailers.
SBCFD reported one of the drivers sustained minor injuries.
Due to the powerful winds, the semis were unable to be immediately attempted to bring the big rigs upright.
Therefore, crews worked to move the semis to the side of the road to help with the resulting severe traffic delays.
At least 5 empty big-rigs has toppled over amid high winds in Fontana. Tow trucks are moving them to the side away from traffic. pic.twitter.com/RwNdTVYx0H
— Watchara Phomicinda (@watcharaphotog) October 30, 2019
CalTrans was also on scene cleaning up several fuel spills, though their efforts were also slowed by the intense winds.
All lanes of 15 Freeway were open and traffic began resuming normally around 4:30 p.m., authorities said.
Extreme winds were predicted to blow through the area, prompting an unprecedented “extreme red flag” warning, which was in effect until 6 p.m. Thursday.
According to CHP, wind speeds in the area at the time were in excess of 65 miles per hour.
Photo courtesy San Bernardino County Fire District