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Crews cleaning up big rig fire along Highway 101 in Santa Maria

South Broadway off-ramp and #3 lane closed

Crews cleaning up big rig fire along Highway 101 in Santa Maria

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - UPDATE 7:00 a.m.

The burned out big rig is being taken apart piece-by-piece. This is a slow process that Caltrans says will take several more hours. The off-ramp and number three lane at Broadway is expected to reopen around 2:40 p.m.

UPDATE 3:00 a.m.

Caltrans says the number three southbound lane on Highway 101 will remain closed while they remove the burned semi-truck trailer from the scene.

The driver was not injured as he was able to detach the cab of the truck from the trailer as it was engulfed in flames. The trailer was carrying produce.

A CHP officer was patrolling the area at the time of the fire.

Officer Jason Traughber said," [I] heard a few loud pops, saw the big rig stopped on the shoulder so [the driver] went to assist and by the time he got himself turned around the trailer was almost fulled engulfed. They're going to have to deconstruct the trailer because the integrity of it is completely compromised, so it's going to be a big job."

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation by the CHP. 

This is a developing story, and will be updated as information becomes readily available. 

 


 

INITIAL STORY: 2:25 a.m. 

The South Broadway exit off-ramp on Highway 101 going south in Santa Maria is closed because a semi-truck caught fire near Thursday night. The slow lane is also closed.

The fire happened just before midnight, according to the California Highway Patrol Incident page. 

Flames could be seen from houses on Johnson Drive near Preisker Park.

The freeway exit was ordered closed by CHP around 1:23 a.m. Friday morning, along with a prolonged closure of the slow lane. They are calling it a long term closure.

According to CHP, the fire burned about 80% of the truck's trailer. It was also noted that debris will need to be removed from the shoulder and slow lane. 

As of 2:15 a.m., Friday, officials were still waiting for an available tow truck to help clear what was left of the semi-truck.

It's unclear how long the number three lane and South Broadway off-ramp will be closed, or when it will reopen for drivers. 

This is a developing story, and will be updated as information becomes readily available. 

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