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Northbound I-5 reopens after chain-reaction crash in Flag City leaves 2 dead

Incredible view of fiery fatal big-rig crash on I-5 near Lodi

209 Times shot video of the collision involving two big rigs and one vehicle on Interstate 5 in Flag City, north of Stocton, May 23, 2019. One person died in the crash that caused a major traffic jam.
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209 Times shot video of the collision involving two big rigs and one vehicle on Interstate 5 in Flag City, north of Stocton, May 23, 2019. One person died in the crash that caused a major traffic jam.

At least two people have died in a series of chain-reaction crashes involving multiple big rigs and at least one vehicle catching fire Thursday morning, closing northbound Interstate 5 from Flag City to Stockton, and leading to major delays, according to Caltrans.

Caltrans reported just after 7:30 a.m. that “extensive backup” was observed on northbound I-5, just south of Highway 12, due to a crash that involved a truck that had tipped over. Lanes reopened around 2 p.m.

The initial collision closed the right lane, but a “series” of secondary collisions closed all northbound lanes from Eight Mile Road to Highway 12 until about 12:20 p.m., according to Caltrans and California Highway Patrol. The left lane of traffic reopened just before 12:30 p.m. and the other two lanes reopened just before 2 p.m., according to CHP.

CHP’s Stockton office in later social media posts confirmed there were “multiple” fatalities.

CHP incident logs show at least four big rigs and at least one sedan were involved in the collision, and that the sedan caught fire. According to 911 callers, two of the big rigs were also involved in fire as of 7:40 a.m., CHP logs show.

Michael McGough anchors The Sacramento Bee’s breaking news reporting team, covering public safety and other local stories. A Sacramento native and lifelong capital resident, he interned at The Bee while attending Sacramento State, where he earned a degree in journalism.

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