By Mary O’KEEFE
Two separate vehicle accidents on the Foothill (210) Freeway claimed four lives on Sunday.
The first accident occurred about 5 a.m. near the Sunland Boulevard exit on the Foothill freeway.
“A 2007 GMC SUV traveling eastbound at the Sunland Boulevard exit, for yet unknown reasons, veered to the right onto a concrete shoulder and [collided] with a tractor trailer that was stopped on the shoulder. The SUV was lodged underneath the trailer of the truck,” said California Highway Patrol Sgt. Dave Corona.
After the collision the SUV caught fire. A Good Samaritan stopped and rescued a 9-year-old boy and an 11-year-old girl from the rear passenger seats of the SUV.
The 41-year-old male driver, a 40-year-old woman and a 14-year-old boy did not survive the collision. All were from Riverside.
The driver of the truck, a 73-year-old man from Frazier Park, and the two children from the SUV were taken to local hospitals with minor injuries.
The second fatal accident occurred about nine hours later at 2:45 p.m. This also ended in the vehicle catching fire and the occupant dying at the scene.
“A driver of an older pick up truck lost control of his vehicle, hit the center divider wall and [the vehicle] became fully engulfed,” Corona said.
The driver of the 1974 Ford truck was traveling westbound on the Foothill (210) freeway east of Angeles Crest Highway when for some reason lost control of his vehicle and hit the center divider.
“The truck was full of tools and when the driver struck the divider the tools launched into the eastbound [oncoming] traffic,” Corona said.
The tools hit a 40-year-old Palmdale man riding a Yamaha motorcycle and two other vehicles driven by a 54-year-old Riverside man and 56-year-old Atherton woman.
The pick-up driver was unable to exit his vehicle and suffered fatal injuries, according to the CHP report.
Due to the intensity of the fire CHP could not identify the driver of the pick-up.
“We do believe he was male but could not identify him. At present he is a John Doe,” Corona said.
The motorcycle rider was transported to the hospital with moderate injuries. The investigation is ongoing.
Anyone who witnessed the accidents or may have information can contact the CHP at (626) 296-8100.