Simi Valley Crash Catches Fire
Vehicle crashes involving some type of fire are unfortunately not uncommon. That much electrical work and gasoline, when you crash it’s bound to spark some type of fire.
On a Friday morning, there was a brush fire burning along the 118 Freeway in the Simi Valley area. This was after a truck had went over the side of the road and then burst into flames! This, according to the local police.
The officers were quick to respond which was around five,thirty-six in the morning to the Santa Susana Pass. The officers responded to the call after a Chevrolet Pick-Up truck had hit another vehicle. The Chevy then went over a guardrail on the westbound side of the 118 and then flipped over. The Chevy possibly fell around 200 feet and then caught fire. This, coming from the accident report which was on the California Highway Patrol website.
At first, little was known about the crash. Such as, if anyone might have been injured.
A video from Sky5 showed the scene. Ventura and Los Angeles county fire departments could be seen on the video, fighting the fire. The scene was where the No.3 and No.4 lanes were closed on the freeway’s westbound lanes.
CHP of course was quick to release a SigAlert, which was for th 118 between Rocky Peak Road and Kuehner Drive.
Fire Involved Crash Stops Traffic
California is no stranger to vehicle crashes or fire involved crashes. It doesn’t even really matter what time of day.
According to California Highway Patrol’s incident log, a driver had been trying to transition from the northbound 710 Freeway and westbound 105 Freeway just before one o’clock in the morning. Then his vehicle had went off the roadway and then collided into a pole and then burst into flames.
The victim was thankfully rescued by a group of passing motorists who were kind enough to stop their vehicles and help as soon as they saw the flaming wreck which was on the side of the freeway.
Passing by Driver, Dante Chestnut’s Statement:
I was just driving by, I see a big old fire, and then people were out here helping this guy out.They asked me if I could help pull him away from the burning car, because it was about to blow up – the gas tank had blown up and everything while we were doing it – so I hopped out and pulled him away from the car.
Mr. Chestnut also said that the victim was still conscious when he went to help. He said the victim was talking, but appeared to be “all messed up”.
The California Highway Patrol log did confirm that there was group of passerby people and they were the ones to take the man out of the fiery vehicle and way from the burning wreckage.
The paramedics quickly got to the scene and were able to transport the unidentified driver to the nearest hospital. The condition of the victim was not immediately known. The cause of this crash that turned into flames is still unknown at this time.
Arrests Made After Crash Ends in Fire
According to the California Highway Patrol, officers had to arrest a twenty-eight year old driver after a crash ended up in flames. Why would they arrest someone for an accident? Well the police believe the twenty-eight year old was possibly under the influence and that the crash was triggered by alcohol and speed. The crash ended with three of the passengers dead. How truly tragic.
Twenty-eight year old, Justin Gardner, was arrested for the suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. However, other “counts” are pending, according to California Highway Patrol Officer, John Fransen.
The California Highway Patrol also said that the crash was first reported at roughly ten o’clock at night, near the 6000 block of the San Pablo Dam Road.
Justin Gardner was reportedly speeding east in a 1971 Chevrolet Camaro on San Pablo Dam Road just east of Tri Lane around ten o’clock in the night. However, for some reason the car drifted into the westbound lane, according to Officer Fransen.
When his car drifted, officers say that Gardner ended up sideswiping a 2002 Honda Civic sedan that was travelling westbound. Luckily, the female driver of the Honda Civic was uninjured. After she was struck, she pulled over to stop her car on the road’s shoulder, according to the California Highway Patrol officers.
Even though she pulled over to see what happened/help, there wasn’t much to do. Gardner lost control of the Camaro and the care slammed into a tree alongside of the road. Gardner wasn’t wearing his seat-belt, and due to that he was ejected from the car. He suffered from moderate injuries, according to officer Fransen. Gardner then had to be transported to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek.
Passengers Die in Fiery Crash
Gardner’s passengers, however wasn’t so lucky. The officer say that they passengers were trapped in the car when it had exploded into flames, immediately killing them.
The passengers inside the care were all in their twenties. One was a twenty-six year old San Pablo man, another was a twenty-three year old woman from Richmond, and the other was a twenty-four year old San Pablo woman died.
A deputy from Contra Costa County said that the victims’ names have not been released at this time.
After the crash, the San Pablo Dam Road had to be temporarily closed to traffic between Orinda and Richmond.
If anyone has information about this crash, the officers are asking that you please contact the California Highway Patrol at (925) 646-4980.
Daniel A. Gibalevich
DAG Law Firm