FATAL CRASH SHUTS DOWN 14 FREEWAY : PICKUP ROLLS ACROSS ROADWAY; MOTORIST HIT BY 2 VEHICLES.
A fatal traffic accident early Friday in downtown Palmdale closed the southbound Antelope Valley Freeway for more than six hours, backing up traffic for up to two and a half miles.
Thrown from his pickup truck as it skidded and rolled across both sides of the freeway at the Palmdale Boulevard on-ramp, a Palmdale motorist was hit by two vehicles, authorities said. The man's body became stuck underneath the second vehicle, which dragged him more than 300 feet down the freeway.
``It was just a gruesome thing,'' said Officer Scott Weldy of the California Highway Patrol.
Anthony Foster, 37, of Palmdale was killed instantly in the 2:23 a.m. crash, officials said. All southbound lanes of the Antelope Valley Freeway were closed between Palmdale Boulevard and Avenue S until the body was removed around 8:30 a.m.
CHP officials said Foster drove onto the northbound on-ramp from westbound Palmdale Boulevard at 75 mph in a full-size 1985 Chevrolet pickup truck. The truck became airborne, landed on the northbound freeway lanes, then began rolling when it reached the center divider, flipping Foster onto the southbound freeway lanes.
``He was then almost simultaneously struck by two vehicles,'' Weldy said.
Foster was hit first by a 1995 Honda Civic. Then he was hit by a 1986 Nissan pickup, which dragged him 300 to 400 feet after he got caught in its drive shaft system.
CHP officers arrived within seconds of the accident and found Foster's truck laying on its side on the southbound freeway shoulder.
``They found the truck but couldn't figure out where the driver was,'' said Weldy. ``Then the drivers who had hit the man came to tell officers where the man was.''
The Nissan's driver, Mark Fimbres, 21, of Lancaster was cited for driving under the influence of alcohol, officials said.