Fatal crash on Southbhound I-5 near Oceanside causes traffic disruption – NBC 7 San Diego

Three motorcyclists, including two U.S. Navy sailors, were killed in a crash on southbound I-5 near Camp Pendleton early Thursday, causing traffic jams hours later.

The crash was reported around 3 a.m. just south of Las Pulgas Road. A Jeep swerved, hit the guardrail and ended up stranded in the southbound lanes. Then, a Mercedes pickup truck hit the Jeep and overturned, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Hunter Gerber. This caused a chain reaction in which four motorcyclists crashed into the van.

Three of the four bikers died at the scene, Gerber said. A US Navy spokesperson confirmed that the two motorcyclists were sailors.

The driver of the van was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries. One of the motorcyclists was taken to hospital with serious injuries. Two people in the Jeep suffered serious, life-threatening injuries and two people in the Mercedes van were taken with moderate injuries.

An investigation is underway into the collision. It is not yet known whether alcohol or a mechanical failure was a factor in the accident.

All lanes of southbound I-5 were closed for several hours in the early morning and during rush hour, with motorists being diverted off Las Pulgas Road.

“We stopped, stuck in this area where you can’t go anywhere and you’re stuck and it ended up being a 5+ hour drive,” said commuter Chris Herring. “There were people getting out of their cars, parking their cars. There were people even going the opposite direction on the shoulder.”

By 11 a.m., two right lanes of Las Pulgas Road were reopened, but traffic jams continued for hours. At 2 p.m., traffic jams continued in San Clemente. The lanes were finally reopened around 3:15 p.m.

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