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Multi-vehicle crash near Los Angeles shuts down freeway

Rick Mcclure / AP

Firefighting paramedics remove an injured motorist on Tuesday at the site of a freeway pileup in northern Los Angeles County involving at least 19 vehicles.

All southbound lanes of Antelope Valley (14) Freeway were shut down at about 10 a.m. Pacific time Tuesday after a big rig collided with several cars, blocking the roadway.

Nineteen vehicles were involved and 15 individuals were injured and taken to the hospital, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Two patients were in critical condition, the fire department said.

This story was first reported by NBCLA.com.

A truck towing two trailers of sand or dirt collided with multiple passenger cars, aerial video showed. The cars were piled on top of each other in the roadway.

The crash occurred south of the Escondido Canyon Road exit in the Agua Dulce area (map), about 1 mile east of Vasquez Rocks county park. The crash was reported at 9:42 a.m. PT.

The California Highway Patrol's traffic website stated that 25 tons of sand were involved, and that passengers were trapped in their vehicles. Photos from the scene showed severe damage to vehicles, including a car with seemingly every part crushed except the driver's seat.

Officials on scene said that the big rig was going too fast while traveling around a curve. The truck was not far behind a CHP officer's patrol car, which was attempting to slow traffic so that debris could be cleared from the roadway.

Aerial video showed multiple people being transported on gurneys and stretchers.

Traffic was backed up for several miles. The CHP website said traffic was being directed off the freeway at Escondido Canyon Road.

As of 11:42 a.m. pt, all cars between the exit and the crash site had been cleared off the freeway, the CHP website said. It was unknown when the collision site would be cleared.

At about noon, tow trucks were beginning to remove the first of nine heavily damaged vehicles that had crashed into and, in some cases, on top of each other.

NBCLA.com is operated by KNBC, NBC News' affiliate in Southern California.

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