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MAN, WOMAN INJURED IN LATEST PILEUP ON A.V. FREEWAY.

Byline: Bhavna Mistry Daily News Staff Writer

A Lancaster motorist was critically injured in a four-vehicle crash that shut down the Antelope Valley Freeway for two hours Tuesday, backing up southbound morning commuters for miles.

Allan Berr's 1993 Ford Ranger pickup truck hit a flatbed truck, a compact car and another pickup before slamming into the concrete center divider of Escondido Canyon Road, California Highway Patrol officials said.

``He's listed in grave condition,'' said CHP Officer Doug Sweeney. ``He's extremely critical.''

Berr, 46, was pinned in his truck for 30 minutes after the 6:35 a.m. crash as emergency crews used the Jaws of Life rescue tool to rip open his truck's roof. He was flown by helicopter to Antelope Valley Hospital.

A second motorist, Susan Brown, 48, of Lancaster, was flown to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital in Valencia. She was treated and released, officials said.

CHP officials said Berr was traveling south when his vehicle rear-ended a 1989 Mitsubishi flatbed two-axle truck hauling steel pipes in an area where construction crews are widening the freeway.

After bouncing off the truck, Berr's Ranger swerved to the left and rear-ended Brown's Honda Accord. Then it hit a 1994 Ford Ranger driven by Yung Cheng of Palmdale before slamming into the concrete center divider, officials said.

The freeway was closed for two hours, backing up traffic at least six miles. Motorists were escorted off at Crown Valley Road, Escondido Canyon Road and Red Rover Mine Road.

Officials said the crash is under investigation and are asking that anyone who saw it contact the California Highway Patrol's Newhall office at (805) 257-6030.

``We've had a rash of traffic accidents in these construction zones,'' Sweeney said. ``The construction is not part of it. People are driving too fast. . . . We need to remind everyone they must slow down in the area.''
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jun 17, 1998
Words:308
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