PINE VALLEY, Calif. — A big-rig driver and another man were killed in a fiery crash down an embankment off Interstate 8 in Pine Valley, authorities said Thursday.
The crash on eastbound I-8 near Buckman Springs Road happened shortly before 7:50 p.m. Wednesday, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Travis Garrow.
An unidentified man behind the wheel of the big rig veered off the north side of the roadway, hit a bridge rail and the vehicle traveled down a dirt embankment, Garrow said. Upon impact, the big rig burst into flames with the driver trapped inside.
CHP, Border Patrol and Cal Fire personnel responded, but the driver was pronounced dead at the scene, the officer said.
Hours later, around 1 p.m., authorities said they were able to reach the body of a second person killed in the crash.
“Due to the severity of the crash and the type of vehicle involved, it took a lengthy amount of time and resources to locate the (second) victim,” a CHP spokesperson said. “Both victims in this crash are believed to be males.”
The San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office took custody of the bodies for autopsy and identification purposes.
Video from Onscene.TV showed remnants of the truck still flaming and smoking early Thursday morning. A fire rescue battalion chief said the big rig was carrying cups of ramen, and charred containers were spilled around the area.
Clean-up crews remained on the side of the highway until after 2 p.m. Thursday
Anyone who witnessed the crash is encouraged to call the California Highway Patrol El Cajon area office at 619-401-2000.