UNION CITY (CBS SF) – Separate collisions involving big-rigs on both sides of Interstate Highway 880 in Union City snarled traffic for most of the Wednesday morning commute, according to the California Highway Patrol.

An initial crash was reported in the northbound lanes of Highway 880 near Alvarado-Niles Road at 4:19 a.m. and about an hour later, another crash was reported in the southbound lanes in the same area, CHP officials said.

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Trucks hauling trailers were involved in the crashes on each side of the highway. It started when a big-rig became disabled in the northbound lanes.

A minivan then crashed into the back of the trailer, sustaining heavy front-end damage. The driver suffered major injuries and had to be extricated from the minivan, CHP Sgt. Keith Peeso said.

As CHP officers were working on cleaning up that crash, another big-rig in the southbound lanes was cut off by the driver of a white SUV at about 5:15 a.m., causing the big-rig driver to crash into the center divider, Peeso said.

The truck went through the center divider, spreading concrete debris, and ended up straddling both sides of the highway, CHP officials said. More cars crashed into the big-rig stuck on the wall as it spilled about 5 gallons of diesel fuel, according to Peeso.

Despite the carnage, only the minivan driver was injured.

The highway lanes had to be shut down for hours to deal with the mess. Some southbound lanes remained closed until shortly before 8 a.m. and two northbound lanes remained closed until about 9:15 a.m., according to the CHP.

Last Friday, a big-rig carrying wine overturned on Interstate 880 in nearby Hayward, also causing major delays.

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