Trucker killed in collision of big rigs on I-5 - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Trucker killed in collision of big rigs on I-5

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Photos via Gene Kang (@GeneCBS8) Photos via Gene Kang (@GeneCBS8)

ENCINITAS (CNS/CBS 8) - A collision between two produce-hauling big rigs on Interstate 5 near Batiquitos Lagoon killed a trucker early Tuesday and left the roadway blocked by spilled cargo and other debris through much of the morning.

One of the southbound tractor-trailers rear-ended the other near Leucadia Boulevard in Encinitas about 12:50 a.m., then toppled over and burst into flames, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The driver of the overturned vehicle died at the scene, CHP public-affairs Officer Jim Bettencourt said. The victim's name was withheld pending family notification.

"It's a tragic situation any time you have a fatality and our hearts go out to the family involved," Bettencourt said.

The other trucker, a 33-year-old Tijuana man, was uninjured.

The freight of both rigs -- tens of thousands of pounds of jackfruit, tomatoes, green beans and bananas -- wound up spilled across the roadway, along with diesel fuel.

A sight that rattled a mother of two children.

"To me it's awful, it's very sad and a big mess," Audra Freistroffer said.

The entire southbound side of the interstate was shut down until shortly before 5 a.m., when one lane was opened to traffic. A second was cleared in the late morning, and all four lanes were open again by shortly before 1:30 p.m., the CHP reported.

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