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Saturday Crashes Claim Lives, Cause Traffic Woes

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So far this weekend in the Southland there have been several major freeway accidents that led to injuries, deaths, arrests, and shutdowns.

In the early hours of Saturday in Diamond Bar, a driver going the wrong way in his pickup truck on the transition road from the eastbound 60 Freeway to the northbound 57 Freeway collided with a minivan, killing its driver. As KNBC.com reports: "The wrong-way driver, who is believed to have been intoxicated, was critically injured and died a few hours after the accident, authorities said." The deadly accident caused the road to remain closed for investigation for several hours that morning.

The next incident took place in Anaheim, when the SUV driven by Tomeka C. Harris, 27, of Orange, went off the road near the the Raymond Avenue offramp to the westbound Riverside (91) Freeway. The vehicle struck a pole, claiming the lives of the two passengers, Alfred Flores, 27, of Santa Ana, and Harris' daughther, Zharia Keheian, 23 months. Flores and Keheian died at the scene of the accident, and Harris was then arrested for a DUI for appearing to be driving under the influence of drugs.

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Two accidents downtown caused injuries, but no fatalities, as first the five passengers riding in a minivan "that reportedly ran a red light at Maple and 11th streets" were injured when the van crashed into a building and another car involved turned over, according to ABC7.com. But the major event downtown was the fiery crash near the East LA Interchange that had traffic backed up for hours as firefighters combatted a major blaze that lept from the big rig and vehicle involved to the palm trees lining the roadway. Now more information about the people involved is being released, including that "three people inside [the car trapped by the big rig] were pulled out by a man who saw his wife's car disappear beneath the truck as a family motorcade was travelling to Disneyland" (CBS2.com). The man rescued "his wife, his daughter and one other person out of the car as tires began burning around them" which was witnessed by the firefighters who came on the scene. Luckily the fiery crash caused no fatalities, only a traffic nightmare and some incredible sights for roadblocked motorists, as captured by LAist's Callie Miller.

Photo of yesterday's crash and fire on the 5 Fwy in Downtown by Callie Miller for LAist