Two people are dead and several others were injured and taken to a hospital Saturday morning after two multiple-vehicle crashes on Interstate 5 near the Highway 99 split in Kern County.
Brian Moore, a California Highway Patrol spokesman for the Fort Tejon region, said the incidents happened around 9 a.m., one southbound on Interstate 5 south of Bakersfield and the other 10 miles to the north on I-5.
Moore said dense fog limited visibility to about 500 feet when the first two vehicles crashed. The drivers failed to pull over to the side and were hit by a big rig, killing a 35-year-old woman and a 50-year-old man from Manteca, the CHP said.
Officials said a chain reaction of nine collisions sent several people to a Bakersfield hospital. Moore said it is unknown exactly how many vehicles and people were involved because many motorists left the scene. Authorities know of one person in an RV who had major injuries.
Deputies believe about 20 vehicles were involved in the two crashes.
I-5 remained closed for most of Saturday morning and afternoon, and southbound traffic was diverted to Highway 99. The California Department of Transportation reopened I-5 around 5:20 p.m. Saturday.