Freeway 15 gave away in the Cajon Pass, causing a semi-truck and San Bernardino County fire truck to fall into the creek below, emergency repair costs are estimated to be $3 million.
Eyewitness News captured exclusive footage of the moment the fire truck plummeted over the side of the freeway when the road it was on collapsed. A monster storm that hit the Southland brought bouts of heavy rain to the area, saturating the ground and causing erosion underneath the highway.
The incident happened around 8 p.m. Friday while crews were responding to help the driver of a semi-truck after his vehicle tumbled down the highway because parts of it crumbled.
When the engineer stopped in the No. 5 lane to get out, he realized the roadway felt unstable. He pulled over to the left, giving him and his fellow firefighters a chance to get out of the vehicle unharmed.
The crews were able to safely rescue the driver of the semi-truck.
The crew was on their way back to station No. 2 in Devore when they received the semi-truck distress call. Earlier they had helped rescue a driver trapped in a flash flood in the West Cajon Valley.
Caltrans crews continue to assess the damage of the pass and closed off three right lanes because they are unstable. Two lanes remain open to traffic.
— Caltrans District 8 (@Caltrans8) February 18, 2017
Water coming down from the nearby hillsides overflowed the creek between the railroad tracks and the 15, Caltrans spokeswoman Terri Kasinga said. That water then eroded the shoulder before undermining the right, or No. 5 lane, and then the No. 4 lane.
The California Highway Patrol said late Friday that only the far left, or No. 1 southbound lane, was open. There was no estimate on when the lanes would reopen.