Crime - Sacto 911

Interstate 5 crashes clog morning commute in Sacramento’s south area

Two crashes involving big rigs snarled traffic on Interstate 5 in Sacramento during a windy and wet commute Monday morning.

One crash was at the same site as a fatal crash involving a big rig on Dec. 10, south of Sutterville Road. The other happened nearby but farther south on I-5.

Traffic was slowed by the wrecks, one at 3 a.m., the other at 5:30 a.m., prompting the California Highway Patrol to urge commuters to take other routes from Sacramento’s south area into downtown.

The first crash Monday was on northbound I-5 just south of Sutterville Road, CHP officer Rich Wetzel said. The truck was southbound on the freeway when the driver lost control and broke through the concrete median.

The trailer remained on the southbound side and the cab portion of the rig straddled the low center median wall, jutting into part of the northbound lanes. The truck’s driver suffered minor injuries, authorities said.

Two northbound lanes were closed, leaving two open, backing up traffic into Elk Grove. Southbound traffic also was slowed.

About 5:30 a.m., during cleanup of the first crash, a car slammed into and slid under another big rig on I-5 north of Florin Road, south of the site of the first crash. Minor injuries were reported in that crash, which closed two northbound lanes.

Both crashes were cleared about 8:30 a.m. Monday.

The initial Monday crash mirrored one on Dec. 10 when a southbound FedEx big rig smashed through the center divider into the northbound lanes. The big rig hit a northbound pickup, killing the smaller vehicle’s driver. The freeway was closed for several hours as the FedEx truck was hauled away and Caltrans patched the center median.

Authorities say they expect Monday’s first crash will require more repairs to the median.

Wetzel said a key difference in the two big-rig crashes is that the trailer remained on the southbound side of the freeway Monday morning. On Dec. 10, the trailer crossed over to the northbound side, locking up traffic.

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews