Truck Reported Stolen Overturns on I-15, Blocking All Lanes

The crash was reported around 6 p.m. Authorities are investigating reports that the truck was stolen.


UPDATE, 1:30 a.m. April 7:

TEMECULA, CA -- All lanes were reopened as of 1 a.m., according to California Highway Patrol.

UPDATE, 11:30 p.m. April 6:

All lanes of northbound Interstate 15 at Highway 79 South remained blocked as of 11:18 p.m. Saturday, according to the California Highway Patrol. The center divide was the only part of the roadway open.


Traffic on Interstate 15 through Temecula came to a standstill Saturday evening after a northbound big rig overturned near state Route 79, according to Highway Patrol dispatchers.

A CHP officer at the scene told Patch that the truck was reported stolen when the driver stopped at a set of scales. The suspect apparently lost control of the truck, struck other vehicles and overturned.

CHP officers were still working the crash and didn’t release information about any injuries.

The crash was reported around 6 p.m. The semi truck came to rest on its side, blocking all northbound lanes, according to the CHP. One lane of northbound traffic was using the center divide.

Patch will update this story when more details become available.

LisaB April 07, 2013 at 09:43 PM
It's amazing how many of you could have handled the job so much better than the CHP. The CHP's job is to clear the roads as fast as possible. That is why you see accidents moved to the shoulder for all paperwork and investigative purposes instead of kept in the lanes (unlike in the cities where the roads are blocked until paperwork and tow trucks are done). So, if it took so long to clear the lanes, I would pretty much assume there was a pretty good reason for them not clearing the lanes sooner. It is more of a nightmare for them than it is for you sitting in your car listening to music, nice and warm and comfortable. But, of course, in this day and age, it is more about the inconvenience of everyone else in traffic than about the people that are truly affected by the situation at hand, like the truck that was hit by the big rig right before it flipped and those people inside that are in critical condition...I bet they wish they had the luxury of just sitting in traffic like the rest of the complainers vs being in the hospital fighting for their lives........ And unless you have done the job of an officer trying to clear a major accident scene, maybe you should try to get some facts before spouting out ignorant comments. Just a thought...
Kp April 07, 2013 at 11:05 PM
Seems to me, then, by your same logic -- if those of us stuck in traffic have no right to have feelings about what we were experiencing because we didn't 'know the facts'-- then your post, as a completely uninvolved party complaining about us complaining, has no validity.
Deborah Pryor April 07, 2013 at 11:15 PM
two of my son's friends were involved in this accident. They were in small gray pickup and the male is doing ok but his girlfriend is really bad and in medically induced coma.
Winchester Collection April 08, 2013 at 12:24 AM
Lmh ..... you know arm chair quarterbacks we all do it and get sensitive when it happens to us. Im sure chp did their job correctly.
Gandhi April 08, 2013 at 01:44 AM
Thank you for posting that link Tobias, waaay more info on that site than on this one thats for sure! So terrifying for all those involved in this, the damage is unbelievable, having to wait in traffic is nothing compared to those who are dead or in the hospital because of this idiot.
Brenda April 08, 2013 at 02:34 AM
Oh Deborah :/ Yes, that was the two people hurt with serious injuries in the truck, the first car hit. They must be rather young people. I am glad to hear the boy is going to be ok but terribly sad about the young woman. I pray she is slowly recovering while in this coma and it gives her time for her body to heal. This is a wreck that should NOT have happened just like all of them where someone is doing something criminal or wrecklessly without any thought to the innocent lives they are going to be hurting. Keep your son strong for his friends they need everyones prayers.
Brenda April 08, 2013 at 02:42 AM
Of course they did their job correctly. I dont doubt that at all. I do believe however that the length of time that truck laid across all lanes was excessive and after the 3D video and pictures were taken (hour tops) they could have pulled it to the side of the freeway. Then later, like what did happen, unload it, and get it uprighted to get it out of there. It happened around 6pm, and knowing they do their job well, there might be things we do not know that prevented them from doing what we might see as an easy task of getting some room for traffic to get through. Course with everyone being "looky loos" it might have still be bumper to bumper, tractor pulled to the side or not :)
Al Salamat April 08, 2013 at 02:58 AM
Hi David. We don't eat donuts any more. Wake up! This is 2013...we eat bagels and drink Starbucks.
Kimberly Wiklund April 08, 2013 at 03:20 AM
I totally agree. It's ridiculous there were no officers helping control the nightmare of a traffic situation. Were they all at In 'N Out? They usually are...
miguel jimenez April 08, 2013 at 03:53 AM
woww 5 5 hours stuk on traffic and they should be be happy cmon california gets a lot of our tax dollars and qe dont have a service road on that area we need an emergency road alt least from pala to the conection to the 215 have you been on a friday after 4pm driving n bound on that area that means where is all that money from tickets at rancho and jefferson have you pay attention to that?
KB April 08, 2013 at 07:49 AM
I hear what your saying, but let's be honest - it ain't exactly rocket science.
steve karels April 08, 2013 at 02:31 PM
john blackwood... think of this please,,,, everything you have, wear, eat, drive etc,etc was at one time on a truck and delivered by a truck!!!! ban trucks.. only a moron would say somethiong like that. think before speaking...
Rzrmom April 08, 2013 at 03:17 PM
Not to mention the 52 foot trailer full of strawberries the clean up crew had to unload first before they could move the trailer!! C'mon guys chill out!
Rzrmom April 08, 2013 at 03:18 PM
Btw the truck was stolen. A friend of mine was part of the clean up crew.
Theo April 08, 2013 at 03:39 PM
Thanks, for your comment J. The two girls in that white ford were my wife and her best friend. The more information i get about this accident the more I'm gratefull that i still have my wife. Theo from Vegas.
LisaB April 08, 2013 at 05:57 PM
Temecula CHP is a small office compared to most offices. Where did you want the manpower to come from to "direct traffic"? You have multiple officers from Oceanside and Temecula working the several accidents that occurred due to the "joy ride" of this stolen big rig. Should "directing traffic" units just be created from thin air? There are only so many units on shift at a certain time, this wasn't a national disaster. It was a local inconvenience. A 52' trailer had to be unloaded and moved by a tow truck capable of towing that size trailer. I'm going to guess that those size tow trucks aren't kept at every tow yard. They might be a little harder to get one and it might not be here in our sleepy little town. As for video footage...Since when has video footage been used at accident scenes? Some people have been watching way too much CSI. Unless you want to throw the state several billion dollars towards technology for the highway patrol, you need to learn to deal with the speed capabilities of humans. The same humans that some of you complain are donut eating, lazy and overpaid, but to the rest of us, are hard working individuals putting their lives on the line everyday they step foot out on that highway. Sitting in traffic for a few hours with your loved ones is a whole lot better than sitting in the ICU staring at your loved one because that big rig crashed into you. Get your priorities straight. It was a few hours of your life, not the last of them.
Captsaveahoe April 08, 2013 at 11:37 PM
CHP is so bent on writing speeding tickets and when you actually need them to be controlling a traffic nightmare they are nowhere to be found. They could have made their quota for the entire year and probably funded another 50 officers by the amount of tickets that should have been handed out for all the idiots who were driving on the 15 shoulder to get up in line.
LisaB April 09, 2013 at 12:40 AM
@captsaveahoe what exactly do you think the job of a CHP officer is? To write speeding violations. They don't work in cities, they work the highways, to WRITE speeding tickets and other highway violations while people are driving in the efforts to avoid traffic collisions. Did you think their sole purpose was to deal with traffic collisions? Quotas, really?? Isn't that one getting old by now? And FYI, not one dime of your speeding ticket fee goes to their salary. Get your facts straight before sounding so ignorant...
J April 09, 2013 at 02:36 AM
LMH, well stated—
Captsaveahoe April 09, 2013 at 04:00 AM
Like I said, they could of had a field day and wrote hundreds of highway violations for everyone who was passing on the shoulder. But instead, they sat behind the coned off intersection at Temcula Highway just watching traffic. Very productive.
Gandhi April 09, 2013 at 07:26 AM
I doubt that Patch will post this, since they appear to have arbitrarily blocked every single comment I've made on this article, but I did write previously that the chp was nowhere to be seen, NOR was our Temecula PD, who SHOULD HAVE BEEN OUT THERE anywhere either. They should have been out helping this traffic mess, I came upon gridlock in every single intersection in this town at 7:30pm. We need to demand answers from the city council, you won't get any from the PD, believe me. Hwy. 79 South, where EVERYBODY was funneled off the freeway at, is A STATE HIGHWAY!! THIS IS WHERE CHP ARE SUPPOSED TO BE, AND WERENT!
Gandhi April 09, 2013 at 07:29 AM
@LMH - newsflash for ya buddy, the CHP gave me a ticket for a dui, IN THE CITY of Temecula. I was on a city street, Ynez Road, wasnt even drunk as a matter of fact, so dont tell me what and where the CHP is SUPPOSED TO BE!! They should have been working HIGHWAY 79 South, that IS a STATE HIGHWAY and they were nowhere to be seen! Who sounds ignorant now?
Gandhi April 09, 2013 at 07:31 AM
Or we could just sit back and learn everything we ever needed to know from YOU LMH right??? I mean, why bother commenting at all, we're all soooo ignorant, compared to you right? And just exactly where did YOU come by all your enlightenment if I may be so bold as to ask?????
Gandhi April 09, 2013 at 07:34 AM
You should have seen what it was like here in Temecula!! Not ONE cop was directing traffic flow, ALL the intersections were blocked with cars, gridlock, and they KNEW traffic was being diverted OFF the 15 and onto our city streets, and yet did nothing to help direct it. I think possibly people need to start complaining to the city council, the Temecula PD certainly wont listen!
Gandhi April 09, 2013 at 07:35 AM
Yeah right Ken.
LisaB April 09, 2013 at 06:50 PM
@Linda I am sorry you were given a DUI in error. I hope you are going (or went) to court to fight for the injustice that was handed to you. As for my ignorance, CHP, as well as any city PD or Sheriff has the power to write you a ticket anywhere they like, city or highway. I.E., Escondido PD could be in town going to court and you are driving a little too fast for his liking, he has the authority and right to pull you over and write you a ticket. California Highway Patrol has the authority to write you a ticket, pull you over for a DUI, etc anywhere in California. So I am going to put that ignorant comment back on the table, as I don't think I'm the one being so ignorant here. And is it possible the officer who pulled you over was heading to 79 South from 79 North via Ynez since that too, is CHP territory? I am truly sorry you were inconvenienced by this accident, but again, it wasn't a national disaster, it was a traffic accident. Just because 'Linda' was inconvenienced doesn't mean every other officer in town should stop dealing with all the other police situations in town to make sure you can get where you need to be going. By the way, did you happen to read that the big rig caused about 6 other "individual" accidents that needed to be attended to by.....wait for it.....oh that's right, the CHP. As for your earlier question about my knowledge, 40+ years family in law enforcement SoCal and NorCal. Hope that answers most of your questions from above...
Brenda April 11, 2013 at 04:39 PM
LMH, Nice post and you are right about the man power, small station and not a state emergency, it was a vehicle accident. However a big vehicle against alot of smaller ones. LMH you can correct me if I am wrong, and I do NOT watch any CSI type shows and never have but 3D videos are taken at larges crashes where people are dead, or might die, and/or alot of property damage. They can reinact the chain of events and its saved forever with all measurements and everything. Yes its expensive technology but also less time consuming, more accurate then trying to measure every single inch of an accident of this size. I wish everyone had the opportunity to do a law enforcement job just once so we dont hear the donut, in and out burger attempts at jokes. Just where are Officers suppose to get breakfast, lunch or dinner when they are in a car all day folks? They dont have the comfort of a nice lunch lounge with AC/heat, bathrooms with a rest couch, or a dang toilet and sink to wash their hands. These people would not last a day. Most couldn't even handle all the paperwork.
Brenda April 11, 2013 at 05:05 PM
Oh geesh Capt, Do you really believe all that? By all pictures I saw there was CHP all over the place. Just how many were suppose to be out there sitting in the backed up traffic instead of helping at the scene, and directing traffic there? Drivers should be mature enough not to drive wrecklessly in bumper to bumper traffic and try to get further along by using the side of the highway. Do we all need to be babysat? LOL
Brenda April 12, 2013 at 07:52 PM
Of course everyone has the right to complain and even write letters to the CHP for the way it was handled. I do not believe that the CHP wanted thousands of drivers to have suffered that day, with kids, animals, grandparents, people who needed medication of some kind sitting in a grid lock for up to 5 hours. I believe they worked as fast as they could except for moving the truck to the side of the freeway, which of course was the main issue. Investigations do take a while, even with less cars and victims. This incident had alot of lies being told, a crazy man saying he was being chased by zombies and several injuries and alot of damaged cars to record. Depending on the locations of the bigger tow trucks that were needed to upright and move this mess,(which should be local) both the tractor and trailor, or one or the other could definately have been moved within the first few hours to allow traffic to get through. Its not like the strawberries were going to be any good anyway right and needed to be picked up by hand? I would like to hear from the CHP as to exactly why it took them 7 hours to move the tractor and/or trailer out of the lanes to let traffic through.
Brenda April 12, 2013 at 08:07 PM
The CHP does have jourisdiction so far off the freeways and being on Ynez would definately fall into that. Also Temecula Police have jourisdiction on the freeways for a certain distance. I dont remember how far it is and you could call them to find out. I also got a ticket on a freeway by a City Cop who got on the freeway ramp to drive to the next one to turn around, go a different way on a road, and I saw him, thought I was ok, and kept flying down the freeway coming home from the River. Well low and behold he came up behind me and pulled me over. Said I was the easiest speeder he had ever gotten. Who just flew right by him and he didnt even have to chase me down, LOL. I argued his right to give the ticket and then the lines of jourisdiction were explained and had to suck up that one after calling the PDs and Chps. Also in emergency when they call for all available units you can literally get all available units in the area. Soooo basically dont think speeding past a City cop on a freeway is ok, LOL


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