Mattress Catches Fire on Freeway

December 7, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

A mattress caught fire on the Pomona (60) Freeway in East Los Angeles and temporarily shut down several freeway lanes, authorities said.

It happened about 7:50 p.m. Sunday, the California Highway Patrol said.

“A vehicle ran over the mattress and that’s what started the fire,” CHP Officer Michele Bond said.

The freeway fire shut down the number 3 and 4 lanes on the eastbound 60 Freeway.

The CHP also closed the interchange between the 60 Freeway and the southbound Long Beach (710) Freeway.

The two closures lasted for more than an hour.

The CHP declared a SigAlert at 8:13 p.m. The road was cleared and the SigAlert cancelled at 9:07 p.m., according to the CHP.

There were no injuries.

Montebello: 60 Freeway On-Ramps to Be Closed Starting Next Two Nights

July 18, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Pomona (60) Freeway on-ramps will be closed overnight tomorrow and Wednesday in Montebello to accommodate soil studies being conducted as part of Metro’s plan to extend the Gold Line through the area.

The Vale Avenue on-ramp to the eastbound 60 will be closed from 10 p.m. Tuesday to 5 a.m. Wednesday, according to Metro spokesman Jose Ubaldo.

“Motorists will be rerouted to Potrero Grande Drive, Hill Drive and the San Gabriel Boulevard on-ramp at Town Center Drive,” Ubaldo said.

The southbound Paramount Boulevard on-ramp to the westbound 60 will be closed from 8 p.m. Wednesday to 6 a.m. Thursday and drivers will be detoured to Montebello Boulevard to access the San Gabriel Boulevard on-ramp, Ubaldo said.
“Metro is studying two alternatives to extend the Gold Line from its current terminus at Pomona and Atlantic boulevards in East Los Angeles,” according to Ubaldo.

One Killed in Pomona Freeway Crash

March 31, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

One person was killed Wednesday afternoon in a crash involving a jackknifed big rig on the westbound Pomona (60) Freeway in Montebello.

The crash occurred at 4:15 p.m. at San Gabriel Boulevard, said California Highway Patrol Officer Michele Bond.

A heavy-duty tow truck was requested, and a SigAlert was declared for an unknown duration, she said.

Manufacturers, Mechanics Blamed For Montebello Tanker Explosion

July 16, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

A 2011 tanker explosion that destroyed a freeway bridge in Montebello occurred because Peterbilt Motors Co. manufactured a defective part deep within the chassis of the big rig, an attorney for a transportation company told a jury today, but a defense blamed the accident on the truck’s mechanics.

In his opening statement in trial of Cool Transports’ lawsuit against the Texas-based truck maker, lawyer Michael Partos said the universal joint on the forward section of the interaxle drive shaft of the truck failed, causing bearing caps to puncture the tanker.

The 8,800 gallons of fuel that had just been picked up a few miles away became ignited by sparks, Partos said.

“This case is about a manufacturer who didn’t want to stand behind his product,” Partos told the Los Angeles Superior Court jury.

But lawyer Richard Moreno, on behalf of Peterbilt, placed the blame for the accident squarely on Cool Transports’ truck maintenance crew. He said California Highway Patrol inspectors examined the forward universal joint and found no evidence it was recently greased.

“There’s no evidence of fresh lubrication on that drive shaft,” Moreno said. “That’s the million-dollar question, was it greased or was it not?” Partos said there is no dispute about which part on the truck broke.

“All parties agree the universal joint failed,” Partos said. “The question is why it failed.”

He said Cool Transports’ mechanics regularly maintained the company’s truck fleet.

To bolster their explanations to jurors, both lawyers used computer-generated images, a replica complete interaxle drive shaft and the original section of the interaxle drive shaft that fell off the truck.

CHP officers recovered the part and conducted the investigation into the Dec. 14, 2011, accident that left the Paramount Boulevard overcrossing of the Pomona (60) Freeway too severely damaged to be repaired.

In December 2011, Peterbilt conducted a recall of trucks built between January 2006 and April 2007 because of issues with drive shafts and universal joints, Moreno said. However, the truck involved in the accident was not subject to the recall because the 2006 model big rig was built in 2005, he said.

Moreno said the recalled trucks were having problems when they were much newer that the one involved in the accident, which was six years old at the time and had close to 700,000 miles on it.

The current lawsuit is an outgrowth of a lawsuit filed in February 2013 by the state Department of Transportation against Cool Transports, which has terminals in Cudahy and Colton, and the driver of the petroleum tanker, Bilal Ahmed Ghutta. The state sought $10.5 million, but the case was settled before the current trial, with Cool Transports agreeing to pay the state $5.9 million.

Ghutta was driving in the eastbound right lane of the freeway when the accident occurred, according to the state’s lawsuit. After Ghutta felt the driveshaft detach, he stopped the truck under the Paramount Boulevard bridge, where the tanker exploded, according to the state’s complaint.

The bridge, originally built in 1967, was shut down following the fire, which forced a lengthy closure of the 60 Freeway between the Long Beach  (710) and San Gabriel River (605) freeways while Caltrans crews assessed the integrity of the structure.

The bridge was demolished once it was determined the fire had caused too much damage. Its replacement, which opened ahead of schedule in May 2012, is 128 feet wide, 32 feet broader than the old one, and includes an additional northbound lane, an eight-foot shoulder, a 14-foot center median and six-foot sidewalks.

Fiery Fatal Crash Shuts Down Pomona Freeway

February 19, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

One driver was killed in a violent two-car crash that left both vehicles ablaze and shut down the eastbound Pomona (60) Freeway in Monterey Park for hours Monday.

The collision on the eastbound 60 Freeway just west of South Atlantic Boulevard was reported at 5:44 a.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.

A 33-year-old man driving a 1982 Toyota was killed, the CHP reported.

The other driver, a 64-year-old Los Angeles man who was at the wheel of a 2003 Infiniti, sustained only scratches, according to the CHP.

The crash left both cars burning near the center divider and shut down the four left lanes for nearly three hours, Posada said. All westbound lanes remained open, she said.

The cause of the crash remained under investigation by the CHP.

Wild Car Chase Ends in Montebello

February 12, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Police have released the name of a parolee shot by police after a wild chase Monday that began in Boyle Heights and ended on the Pomona (60) Freeway in Montebello as he tried to carjack a second car at gunpoint.

Aaron Lorta, 29, was booked on suspicion of carjacking, said Officer Liliana Preciado of the Los Angeles Police Department. Lorta, who’s under a no-bail parole hold, is hospitalized in stable condition and has been speaking to detectives, according to police.

According to NBC4, Lorta has a criminal background that includes convictions for domestic battery, grand theft, carrying a concealed dagger, assault with a deadly weapon, attempted grand theft, auto theft and unlawful taking or driving of a car and attempted robbery.

LAPD Sgt. Frank Preciado said as many as three LAPD officers may have fired on the suspect when “he exited the vehicle after a number of felonies and attempted to commandeer another vehicle at gunpoint.”

No officers were injured, Preciado said.

The chase began in Boyle Heights as an attempt to intercept a stolen vehicle near the intersection of North Mott and Cincinnati streets around 5:15 p.m. Monday, Preciado said

The chase went through downtown Los Angeles and as far south as Lynwood before ending in Montebello with the suspect running in eastbound lanes of the 60 Freeway, where he was shot by officers around 6 p.m.

The suspect carjacked a sedan from a 22-year-old woman on Imperial Highway in South Gate after crashing another stolen car during the chase.

“He just came up to me and pointed a gun at me … and told me to get out of my car, and he just took off with it,” the very shaken but otherwise uninjured woman, Elizabeth Yarahuan, told ABC7.

Preciado said Yarahuan did the right thing.

“Any time that you’re confronted with someone that is armed, be it a knife, be it a sharp object or a gun, and they want to take your property, be it a purse or vehicle, it’s not worth losing your life over property,” Preciado said.

A large semi-automatic pistol was recovered at the scene, police said.

Police were investigating whether the suspect had fired at other vehicles during the chase, and whether this had caused any of the reported four collisions that the suspect left in his wake, Preciado said.

Preciado said LAPD officers, as well as their counterparts from Huntington Park, South Gate and Montebello, were trying to establish the extent of injuries from the collisions that occurred during the chase.

Driver in Montebello Light Pole Crash Identified

February 2, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The coroners office Monday released the name of a 20-year-old man killed when a car slammed into a light pole in Montebello near the border with Whittier.

He was Luis Olivares of Montebello, said coroner’s Lt. Larry Dietz.

The crash occurred at the intersection of San Gabriel Boulevard and Plaza Drive south of the Pomona (60) Freeway about 11:20 p.m. Wednesday, said California Highway Patrol Officer Francisco Villalobos.

Olivares was pronounced dead at the scene and at least one other person was taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries, Villalobos said. Olivares was apparently the driver.

Several vehicles may have also been involved in the accident, he said.

The cause of the crash remained under investigation by the CHP, Villalobos said.

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