A big rig truck overturned on southbound Interstate 15 and burst into flames in the Mira Mesa area Thursday morning, injuring the driver and causing a major backup on the freeway. The crash happened just before 4:20 a.m. on the southbound lanes near Mira Mesa Boulevard.
The emergency response to the crash and subsequent fire prompted the closure of two southbound lanes. The southbound I-15 HOV lanes were also shut down as crews tried to douse the flames and clear the scene.
By just before 8 a.m., officials reopened all southbound I-15 lanes in the area but the HOV lanes were expected to be closed for several more hours, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Reporting partner 10News learned the driver Jose Torres was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. He told 10News he was drinking coffee and listening to the radio right before the crash occurred. "The truck just veered left on me. I don't know if we got a (tire) blowout or what, but next thing you know I'm in the guardrail and the truck is turning over. I smell the flames, and I'm trying to get out of there," Torres said.
Crews had to offload fuel from the truck before removing the wreck. The cause of the crash is under investigation.