Two crashes about 15 minutes and 50 feet apart just south of Temecula stopped traffic dead on Interstate 15 just south of the Border Patrol checkpoint, the California Highway Patrol reported.
A crash involving a gray Ford Escort and an Avalanche was reported about 8:10 p.m.
The second crash was reported about 8:25 p.m., according to the CHP.
Several people suffered injuries and were to be taken to area hospitals, the CHP reported.
Traffic was already slowed in Temecula because of construction that forced closure of three lanes on the 15 until early Sunday morning.