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  1. #1
    CPS Technician Victorious4's Avatar
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    Freeway collapses after crash

    California Freeway Collapses After Fiery Crash
    WATCH VIDEO
    A gasoline tanker crashed and burst into flames near the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge on Sunday, creating such intense heat that a stretch of highway melted and collapsed. Officials predicted a traffic nightmare for Bay Area commuters for weeks or months to come.

    Flames shot 200 feet in the air, but the truck's driver walked away from the scene with second-degree burns. No other injuries were reported in the 3:45 a.m. crash, which officials said could have been deadly had it occurred at a busier time.

    "I've never seen anything like it," Officer Trent Cross of the California Highway Patrol said of the crumpled interchange. "I'm looking at this thinking, 'Wow, no one died' - that's amazing. It's just very fortunate."

    Authorities said the damage could take months to repair, and that it would cause the worst disruption for Bay Area commuters since the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake damaged a section of the Bay Bridge itself.

    Nearly 75,000 vehicles use the portion of the road every day. But because the accident occured where three highways converge, authorities said it could cause commuting problems for hundreds of thousands of people. State transportation officials said 280,000 commuters take the bridge into San Francisco each day.

    On Sunday the collapse doubled the half-hour trip drivers normally face getting to and from San Francisco and the eastern suburbs - even though many didn't even attempt the trip because of the crash. Traffic appeared light on the bridge itself, but motorists looking to get on and off were backed up on both sides.

    Transportation officials said they already had added trains to the Bay Area Rapid Transit rail system that takes commuters across San Francisco Bay, and were urging people to telecommute if possible. In preparation for rush hour, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger authorized funding so that ferries, buses and the rail system could carry commuters free of charge during Monday's commute.

    State officials said motorists who try to take alternate routes Monday instead of relying on public transportation would face nightmarish commutes.

    The tanker carrying 8,600 gallons of gasoline ignited after crashing into a pylon on the interchange, which connects westbound lanes of Interstate 80 to southbound I-880, on the edge of downtown Oakland about half a mile from the Bay Bridge's toll plaza.

    The driver, James Mosqueda, 51, of Woodland, was headed from a refinery in Benecia to a gas station near the Oakland Airport when the accident occurred, according to the California Highway Patrol.

    A preliminary investigation indicated he may have been speeding on the curving road, Cross said. Mosqueda was being treated in a hospital for burns Sunday; the hospital would not transfer media calls to his room.

    Witnesses reported flames rising up to 200 feet into the air. Heat exceeded 2,750 degrees and caused the steel beams holding up the interchange from eastbound I-80 to eastbound Interstate 580 above to buckle and bolts holding the structure together to melt, leading to the collapse, California Department of Transportation director Will Kempton said.

    The charred section of collapsed freeway was draped at a sharp angle onto the highway beneath, exposing a web of twisted metal beneath the concrete. Officials said that altogether a 250-yard portion of the upper roadway was damaged.

    The cost of the repairs would likely run into the tens of millions of dollars, and the state was seeking federal disaster aid, Kempton said. Schwarzenegger late Sunday issued an emergency declaration to allow repairs to happen faster, said Adam Mendelsohn, the governor's spokesman.

    The Bay Bridge consists of two heavily traveled, double-decked bridges about two miles long straddling San Francisco Bay.

    San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said the accident showed how fragile the Bay area's transportation network is, whether to an earthquake or terrorist attack, and has the potential to have a major economic effect on the city.

    "It's another giant wakeup call," Newsom told reporters at the California Democratic Party convention in San Diego.

    By MARCUS WOHLSEN
    OAKLAND, Calif. (April 29)
    Associated Press Writer Tom Verdin in San Diego contributed to this story.
    Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.
    2007-04-29 13:55:48
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  3. #2
    CPS Fanatic JaRylan's Avatar
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    Re: Freeway collapses after crash

    Wow.
    Jacqui ~ Rylan ~ 08.13.02 ~ 57.2lbs on 9/26/08 ~ Radian 65
    Join Starlight's Book Club, read your manuals! Car seats are cheaper than caskets & you can use them more than once. How much did your wedding cost? How long did it last? Does your child's safety seem more affordable now?

  4. #3
    CPS Technician
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    Re: Freeway collapses after crash

    IT's scary. They've been interrupting commercials to give news updates about the traffic situation for tomorrow. Thankfully we never go there, but I was near I-880 in San Jose today.. Glad I didn't have to go that way..
    Janice, no longer a CPST, and now a single Mommy to C, 10 and big enough to pass the 5-step test and S(born 12/9/09), in a Roundabout 50.

  5. #4
    CPS Technician oxeye's Avatar
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    Re: Freeway collapses after crash

    I was right at that interchange yesterday and I was planning to go home across the bay bridge tomorrow. There are usually traffic problems across the bridge anyway so we're planning a different route now. Hopefully it will be far enough out of the way that it won't be a nightmare.

    Insane - and so close to where the freeway collapsed during the '89 earthquake.
    Roxie -- CPST and mommy to:
    DD1 - 11, DD2 - 9, DS - 5

  6. #5
    Member jef's Avatar
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    Re: Freeway collapses after crash

    It was even on the tv news here (The Netherlands).

  7. #6
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Freeway collapses after crash

    The damage is amazing, but it's such a freak accident--it was simply pure (bad) luck that the tanker wound up under an overpass like that, and apparently it's pretty hard to leak an entire truck's load of gas (Tanker explosion deemed atypical).

  8. #7
    Senior Community Member natysr's Avatar
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    Re: Freeway collapses after crash

    I'm so glad no one was hurt. Luckily, that stretch is not part of my hour and 1/2 commute.

    Janise...where do you live/work? I work in San Jose. Want to tech my seat?

  9. #8
    CPS Technician
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    Re: Freeway collapses after crash

    Quote Originally Posted by natysr View Post
    I'm so glad no one was hurt. Luckily, that stretch is not part of my hour and 1/2 commute.

    Janise...where do you live/work? I work in San Jose. Want to tech my seat?
    I don't live in San Jose, but I try to visit as often as possible b/c my best friend lives there. I live in Solano County..
    Janice, no longer a CPST, and now a single Mommy to C, 10 and big enough to pass the 5-step test and S(born 12/9/09), in a Roundabout 50.

  10. #9
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Freeway collapses after crash

    We're flying into San Francisco on Thurs and have to get across to Berkeley...should be interesting. Anyone live in the East Bay?

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