At Least 17 Injured in California Freeway Pileup

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (AP) — A big-rig truck and nearly 20 cars collided Tuesday on a freeway in the mountains north of Los Angeles, leaving at least 17 people injured, including two critically, authorities said.

Television news footage showed more than a half-dozen cars, pickup trucks and SUVS crumpled together and piled on top of each other in a cluster of wreckage on the southbound side of State Route 14 in Agua Dulce. The route is known locally as the Antelope Valley Freeway, where cars heading from the high-desert bedroom communities often speed on their way to the Los Angeles basin.

The crash was reported at 9:45 a.m., and Los Angeles County fire Capt. Mark Savage said "there are 19 vehicles involved, at least one or two big-rigs."

There was no fire or hazardous material spills, Savage said.

Firefighters freed a person trapped in the wreckage and a fleet of ambulances ferried the injured to hospitals, Savage said. Fire Capt. Doug LaCount told KABC-TV that most of the injuries were minor.

The cause of the accident was under investigation.

The highway through the San Gabriel Mountains rises to a summit elevation topping 3,200 feet.

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