A serious crash on Interstate 15 in Temecula closed all lanes on the highway, according to reporters on the scene. The motor vehicle accident appears to have been a chain reaction crash that sent a big rig truck partway off the highway. The California Highway Patrol believes the accident can be traced back to a single driver who may have been speeding. It is not clear whether charges have been filed at this time.
According to accident reconstruction, it appears a 69-year-old woman, who was driving at approximately 50 mph, rear-ended a truck, causing a much larger big rig to crash into the back of her car before nearly falling off the highway. Five more cars in front of the initial truck were caught in the chain reaction, causing moderate injuries both to the woman and to the truck driver. Two other drivers reported minor injuries, and the big rig driver was unharmed.
Police say the woman was operating her vehicle at speeds considered unsafe for the road conditions, though they did not list intoxication as a further potential cause of the crash. Though no charges have been announced, it seems likely the woman will have to answer to accusations of unsafe driving, especially considering injuries were caused. The entire highway remained closed for some time to facilitate the investigation.
A motor vehicle accident causing injury or death is cause for a serious investigation by California and local authorities. Even if the woman believed to be responsible for the crash is not hit with criminal charges, the injured parties are all entitled to file personal injury suits against her in civil court. Any evidence that she was operating her vehicle at unsafe speeds could be used in that setting to bolster their cases.