(VIDEO by Ernest Chavez)
A wrong-way car crash that left one person dead shut down the Gerald Desmond Bridge in Long Beach Saturday morning.
Around 7:11 a.m., authorities responded to a traffic collision on the bridge. A preliminary investigation indicated a car was traveling the wrong way, heading westbound in an eastbound lane.
The car collided with two other vehicles. Long Beach Fire Department officials determined a male driver was killed at the scene. Two men were transported to a nearby hospital in critical condition.
“One of the police officers involved actually attempted to extricate one of the victims that was inside of a truck that was well involved with fire and subsequently injured his arm and was transported to the hospital,” Heflin said.
Video of the scene showed at least two vehicles were engulfed in flames and multiple people worked to extinguish the blaze.
The bridge is a “vital hub in the nation’s trade system,” according to the Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project website, which chronicles a 5-year replacement plan that is currently underway and expected to be complete by 2018.
The new bridge is expected to allow for larger ships to move through and become the second-tallest cable-stayed bridge in the U.S., the project website stated.
The bridge will be closed for several hours in both directions as the investigation continues.
No further information was immediately available.