Crash On 60 Freeway Leaves Two Dead Around South El Monte


Cantaloupes and rubble litter Peck Road near Durfee Avenue.

Right next to the 60 Freeway overpass are the charred remains of the big rig that was carrying the melons to Pomona.

About a half hour before five in the morning, South El Monte resident Stephen Mroz heard a truck horn blast outside a fast food restaurant.

Mroz said he then saw the two vehicles crash, and saw them both burst into flame. The horn blowing semi truck crashed through the guardrail and ended straight up in the air when it reached the street below.

The car spun around engulfed in flame, and flames from the accident reached 30 to 40 feet high, he said.

He added that firefighters came within two minutes, and doused the large fire quickly.

Mroz had witnessed the eastbound collision between a big rig and a BMW that closed all but one lane leading to Pomona.

This also led to severe traffic 13 miles east of Los Angeles, right before the San Gabriel (605) Freeway interchange, and the closing of.Peck Road (around Durfee Avenue) in both directions.

While the westbound route into Los Angeles remains open, the two drivers will not be able to return west on the thoroughfare.

The CHP said both drivers were pronounced dead at the scene. Neither individual’s identity has been released at this time.

CHP Sgt. Eddie Perez said the big rig collided with the BMW, causing the BMW to spin around and face westbound on the eastbound shoulder of the freeway.

Perez said the driver of the rig may have been attempting to slow down or stop to avoid contact, but was unable to due to the amount of time it takes for the larger truck to stop.

“Instantly everything was burning. It was a big ball of flame,” eyewitness Mroz added.

The crash remains under investigation.

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KTLA’s Juan Flores and Lauren Lyster broke the story, and writers for the City News Service covered the accident for the SGVT.