The Truck Fire

So around 1 pm this afternoon I planned to take my three boys to play at a park and then eat at MacDonald’s. When I jumped on Soledad Canyon road, one of the main roadways that links the west and east ends of the Santa Clarita Valley, the traffic came to a crawl near the bowling alley. That’s about 2 miles from where Soledad Canyon cross San Fernando Road, the other main roadway in Santa Clarita. (Those not familiar with the geography can see this Google Map of “Santa Clarita Valley.” That is if you are interested).

When traffic is backed up to the bowling alley, that means a few things: a) A yahoo has stalled his monster truck in the fast lane on Soledad; b) the brainiacs at Caltrans decided to do roadway construction work during a heavy traffic time, a common occurrence throughout the greater LA area; c) a traffic light is malfunctioning; or d) the freeway is shut-down. The traffic was so congested, I thankfully thought swiftly and turned around just before I got to that long stretch on Soledad where you can get stuck for nearly 30 minutes before having such an opportunity.

We spent nearly 45 minutes getting to our MacDonald’s of choice (where they have those hamster tube play stations), that we had to nix the plans for the park. After we returned home from our outing, I decided to find out what the congestion was all about on the net. Much to my surprise, there was a massive truck crash on Friday evening that caused all the problems.

Apparently, from what I understand, two semi-trucks collided inside a tunnel on the truck lanes that take the trucks under the I-5 freeway. It just so happened that the accident took place during the late evening when there is heavy trucking traffic heading south on the 5 freeway down into LA and Long Beach Harbor. Their collision caused a major pile-up involving 10-15 trucks and a fire broke out creating an inferno that shot flame from both ends of the tunnel and hundreds of feet into the air. The fire was so hot it began to cause the concrete on the freeway to fall away in big chunks and explosions could be heard coming out of the tunnel for hours. The fire departments were able to get the fire under control just this Saturday afternoon. Transportation officials are predicting the freeway will be closed for a few days.

See a photo essay here

I realize folks reading my report in Possum Gap, West Virgina, are like, “so?”, but here in L.A., that’s a tremendous big deal, because one of the prime roadways that connects Northern California with Southern California is shut. That in turn means all that traffic – all those hundreds of thousands of cars a day – will be driving in front of my house to get to the city. Oh, bugger.

This happened one other time to my recollection: during the 94 earth quake. The 5 and 14 interchanges on the freeway collapsed. I lived in the San Fernando Valley then, but I still worked out in Santa Clarita. I had to car pool an hour or more with a group of ladies (when they remembered to pick me up), and when I couldn’t return home with them, I had drive with another fellow in all the freeway traffic driving on the surface streets. We would leave work around 4 pm and I would get home around 7 pm. I did a lot of studying that week as a passenger.

So I am curious as to whether or not I will be able to get to church on Sunday. Heck, pretty much all the Grace Church staff lives in my neighborhood, including John and Phil. I guess we could all go over to his house for worship service. We can have a house church just like all those Christians in Acts.

I am sure his beagle will appreciate it.


3 thoughts on “The Truck Fire

  1. We don’t live in Possum Gap,VA, but we certainly realizing the consequences of this acccident when we heard about it.I was indeed wondering how you guys would get to church on Sunday.

  2. I got up on Sunday pondering how I could get over the Newhall pass without sitting in 2 hours of traffic. Thankfully, Sundays is light anyways, and after I checked the traffic reports and they affirmed the southbound lane was open, I took a risk. The tunnel is North of the 14 in the cloverleaf interchange, so the southbound lane of the 14 did not get touched by the fire. It was wide open. Coming home, however, was another story. The traffic was jammed, but not as bad as I anticipated. I was figuring a 45 to an hour sitting in traffic waiting to go north, but it was only an extra 10 or 12 minutes. With a car load of sleep deprived toddlers, that was a blessing.We went to Costco that afternoon, and nearly all the Grace Church congregation in Santa Clarita was there unable to go to evening service due to the traffic and we all had an impromptu fellowship time chatting with each other in the aisles. Fred

  3. Garry and I made the trek back for the evening service because he was scheduled to help serve Communion. We left an hour earlier than under normal circumstances and arrived early also. The trip back to the SCV took no more time than usual for a Sunday night, which we thank the Lord for.

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