Tomato-toting truck crash jams I-5 commute

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ENCINITAS, Calif. — A collision between two produce-hauling big rigs on Interstate 5 near Batiquitos Lagoon killed a trucker early Tuesday and left the roadway blocked by spilled cargo and other debris through much of the morning.

One of the southbound tractor-trailers rear-ended the other near Leucadia Boulevard in Encinitas about 12:50 a.m., then toppled over and burst into flames, according to the California Highway Patrol.

I-5 crashThe driver of the overturned vehicle died at the scene, CHP public- affairs Officer Jim Bettencourt said. The victim’s name was withheld pending family notification.

The other trucker, a 33-year-old Tijuana man, was uninjured.

The freight of both rigs — tens of thousands of pounds of jackfruit, tomatoes, green beans and bananas — wound up spilled across the roadway, along with diesel fuel.

The entire southbound side of the interstate was shut down until shortly before 5 a.m., when one lane was opened to traffic. A second was cleared in the late morning, and all four lanes were open again by shortly before 1:30 p.m., the CHP reported.



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