Gusts tip over big rigs as wind whips parts of county

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Data pix.

SAN DIEGO -- Strong winds started whipping San Diego County late Tuesday night and continued through the morning, tipping over at least two big rigs on local highways.

The first semi-truck was hit by a gust of wind, causing the driver to lose control and crash shortly before midnight on Interstate 8 in the Descanso area, east of Alpine. Firefighters were called to check on the driver, but officials did not report any serious injuries.

The crash came after the National Weather Service warned that strong winds could create dangerous driving conditions for large vehicles. Isolated gusts of more than 90 miles per hour had been recorded in the county by late Wednesday morning.

Getting the semi-truck back upright proved challenging for a tow crew, who could be seen crouching low to the ground and shielding their faces as dust and debris blew past them in the dark. The towing company was able to drag the truck to the highway's shoulder, but ultimately decided to call off any effort to get the vehicle upright until winds died down.

A second semi flipped on its side after being hit by a gust of wind on I-8 near Pine Valley around 6:45 a.m. No injuries were reported in that crash either, though the truck did block the Buckman Springs Road off-ramp until authorities were able to clear the wreck.

Around 8:30 a.m., California Highway Patrol advised drivers with high profile vehicles to avoid driving on I-8 between Alpine and state Route 98.

A High Wind Warning will last through Wednesday afternoon.

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