Icy roads cause 60-car crash that closes I-5 in Northern California

YREKA — A massive pile-up on Interstate 5 between Yreka and Hornbrook, Calif., has closed the freeway and sent several motorists to the hospital, authorities in California report.

The crash occurred around 6 p.m. in the freeway's northbound lanes. Emergency officials reported that at least 60 vehicles were involved, including cars and several tractor-trailers.

The California Highway Patrol reported that the pile-up started when a tractor-trailer lost control on black ice just outside Yreka and crashed into a concrete wall.

The California Department of Transportation website reported that several people were rushed to the hospital with minor to moderate injuries. No fatalities were reported as of 10 p.m.

Caltrans reported on its website that severe ice on the freeway caused the crash. The agency said the crash scene stretched for approximately two miles.

Stranded motorists reported becoming “cold” while sitting in their cars, according to the Caltrans website. The National Weather Service reported that temperatures near the crash scene had fallen to approximately 20 degrees by 10 p.m.

Both lanes of the freeway were expected to remain closed for several hours, although a detour is in works, the website said.

An emergency shelter was established at the Siskiyou County Fairgrounds in Yreka, the website said.

Calls made to Caltrans and the CHP seeking further comment were not returned immediately.

Towing companies from Ashland and Medford were dispatched to the scene to help clear the roadway.

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