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I-5 Reopened After Fatal Accident Near Camp Pendleton

A pair of accidents — one of them fatal — shut down major freeways in San Diego on Monday.

Photo credit: 10News

A silver van is shown next to the semi-trailer it collided with on southbound Interstate-5 in the Camp Pendleton area, June 2, 2014.

A 75-year-old woman was killed and an 80-year-old man seriously injured Monday when a van plowed into a stalled box truck on Interstate 5 in the far northern reaches of San Diego County.

The San Juan Capistrano residents were headed south near the decommissioned San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station shortly after 10 a.m. when they hit the stationary cargo vehicle, which had warning reflectors set out behind it, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The man swerved the 2004 Chevrolet van to the left but was unable to steer clear of the truck. His passenger, believed to be his wife, died at the scene, CHP public affairs Officer Jim Bettencourt said, and the driver was airlifted to Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla. Their names were withheld pending family notification.

The driver of the truck, a 51-year-old Gardena man, was unharmed. He told investigators that a transmission malfunction had left the commercial vehicle broken down on the freeway, Bettencourt said.

Three dogs in the van were unharmed and were turned over to animal-control personnel.

The wreckage and emergency vehicles left three of four southbound lanes blocked in the area for a time. Traffic remained gridlocked for miles to the north at midday.

All lanes were open again and traffic back to free flow by 2 p.m., the CHP reported.

Earlier Monday, a tractor-trailer jackknifed and landed on its side, blocking most of southbound Interstate 15 at state Route 56 during the morning commute in North County, authorities said.

The accident occurred shortly after after 5 a.m. on the far right side of the freeway, according to the California Highway Patrol, which closed lanes 3-6 but kept the two innermost lanes open to traffic.

HOV lanes normally reserved for carpoolers and FasTrak users were open to all motorists while crews worked to clean up the wreckage.

There were no immediate reports of injury.

City News Service and KPBS media partner 10News contributed to this report.

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