BELMONT (BCN) — The California Highway Patrol issued a short Sig-alert on U.S. Highway 101 Sunday morning after a traffic pile-up blocked all the lanes and eventually forced emergency responders to briefly divert traffic, a CHP officer said.
The series of car crashes began around 5:15 a.m. Sunday. That was when a white Acura and a dark sedan collided on the northbound highway just south of Ralston Avenue in Belmont, Anderson said.
An off-duty San Mateo law enforcement official witnessed the crash and assisted, Anderson said. One person was reportedly seen running from the scene of the crash, he added.
Within five minutes, three crashes had occurred at the same
location, and Anderson said more than four vehicles were involved in the overall pile-up, which saw at least five collisions – two of which were head-on – by the time the road was closed.
Motorists were even slamming into cars that had been abandoned on the freeway, as in the case of one man who reported to the CHP that he was leaving his disabled Mitsubishi on the roadway while he went to the right-hand shoulder only to see someone crash into his car, Anderson said.
The Belmont Police Department responded to the scene, as did
firefighters who requested the CHP aid their response by closing the highway, which was completely blocked by 5:32 a.m., Anderson said.
The CHP issued a Sig-alert at 5:38 a.m. warning motorists to
expect delays because northbound Highway 101 was blocked. Traffic was diverted off the freeway at Holly Street and allowed to reenter the freeway at El Camino Real.
Anderson had originally estimated that motorists could face delays
of 30 to 45 minutes as a result of the closure, but the light Sunday morning traffic made the clearing of the roadway easier for responders, he said.
By 6:05 a.m., two right-hand lanes were cleared and the Sig-alert
was updated at 6:08 a.m., Anderson said. All the lanes were reopened with traffic flowing normally without delays by 6:13 a.m., and the alert was cancelled at 6:14 a.m., he said.
The cause of the crash that initiated the pile-up has not yet been
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