A crumpled big rig sits on Highway 138 after colliding with a power pole, shutting down the roadway in both directions for most of Thursday, Dec. 8. [photo by The Mountain Enterprise]
UPDATE-LEBEC, NEENACH, CA (Thursday, Dec. 8 at 10:30 p.m.)—No closure is posted at CHP incident sites for Highway 138.
UPDATE-LEBEC, NEENACH, CA (Thursday, Dec. 8 at 12 noon)—The western portion of Highway 138, from Gorman Post Road to the Old Ridge Route just beyond Quail Lake is the section that is affected by the closure. It is estimated that 5 p.m. will be the time when the block may be lifted.
UPDATE–LEBEC, NEENACH, CA (Thursday, Dec. 8 at 7:44 a.m.)—There is a pole hanging over Highway 138 with wires attached and a severely crumpled big rig nearby at the site of the accident. Our reporter has been at the scene, has taken photos, and confirmed that it may be a very long job to make passage along Highway 138 safe today. One report predicts it may take until the end of the day to open the road back up to traffic.
Community Reporter David Schindler said that he was told by Castaic CHP that the road will be closed until 5 p.m.
Those who are going to work to First Solar will need to drive down to Castaic, take the Lake Hughes exit, and continue along that road past Lake Hughes and Lake Elizabeth, to Highway 138 at Three Points Road.
UPDATE-LEBEC, NEENACH, CA (Thursday, Dec. 8 at 7:34 a.m.)—Our reporter is at the scene of the CHP roadblock and is seeking entry to the site of the accident. We have informed officials that Southern California Edison reports that lines have been de-energized. We are making inquiries with the crews at the scene and will report further about CHP plans for re-opening Highway 138.
UPDATE-LEBEC, NEENACH, CA (Thursday, Dec. 8 at 6:30 a.m.)—Scott Andresen, a spokesperson for Southern California Edison confirms that the downed lines along Highway 138 have been "de-energized" and sparks are no longer flying.
Our reporter is approaching the accident scene. CHP Incident reports do not show that Highway 138 is re-opened, but Andresen confirms the lines are now safe, and motorists are advised that the road may be open shortly. We are in the process of confirming and will report here as soon as possible.
SCE’s Andresen continued: "We have guys out there on the scene. We heard it was a vehicle that took wire down…we have first-responder troublemen out, assessing the situation to isolate the problem and return power. We don’t have a time estimate yet for returning power. Our guys are there. We are trying to work as quickly and safely as possible."
UPDATE-LEBEC, NEENACH, CA (Thursday, Dec. 8 at 5:45 a.m.)—CHP reports that a big rig slid and hit power poles on Highway 138 at about 3:38 a.m. LIve wires were sparking on the ground, according to reports, with poles leaning and wires down. Highway 138 is still closed in both directions, according to CHP incident reports.
LEBEC, NEENACH, CA (Thursday, Dec. 8 at 5 a.m.)—A big rig has crashed on Highway 138, near the National Cement plant. The crash took down several Southern California Edison power poles. There are live electrical wires on the ground.
Californai Highway Patrol officers have closed off Highway 138 and will not go into the area until SCE comes to make the area safe, according to The Mountain Enterprise reporter at the site.
Traffic on the Interstate 5 / Grapevine does not seem to be affected at this time. Those traveling to Lancaster / Palmdale or the Western Antelope Valley need to go through Castaic to the 14 to bypass the Hwy 138 problem.
We will update as new information is available.
This is part of the December 02, 2011 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
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