Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

I-15 CLOSURE: Chain reaction crash on I-15 leaves one dead


On Friday, March 1, 2024, at approximately 4:45 a.m., Party # 1 was driving Vehicle # 1 northbound on I-15 just north of Rainbow Valley Boulevard in the # 4 lane at an undetermined speed. For reasons which are under investigation, Party # 1 allowed Vehicle # 1 to travel towards the right shoulder of northbound I-15. Vehicle # 1 crossed over the right shoulder and collided with a freeway perimeter chain link fence. Vehicle # 1 traveled through the fence and collided with a hillside embankment, causing Vehicle # 1 to ricochet out of control back towards the northbound traffic lanes. Vehicle # 1 came to rest facing a southeasterly direction, straddling the # 2 and # 3 lane of northbound I-15. Party # 1 exited her vehicle and stood in the # 2 lane.

Party # 2 was driving Vehicle # 2 northbound on I-15 just north of Rainbow Valley Boulevard in the # 2 lane at approximately 70-75 mph, approaching Party # 1's location. As Vehicle # 2 approached Party # 1 at a close distance, Party # 2 observed Party # 1 standing directly in front of him. Party # 2 applied his vehicle's brakes but was unable to avoid colliding into Party # 1. The impact from Vehicle # 2's front end threw Party # 1 in a northerly direction, where she came to rest in the northbound # 2 lane. Vehicle # 2 came to a stop facing in a northerly direction in the # 2 lane. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) and Cal Fire responded to the collision scene. Cal Fire pronounced Party # 1 deceased at the scene. Party # 2 suffered minor injuries and was transported to a local hospital for treatment of his injuries. CHP closed all northbound traffic lanes and issued a SIG alert. Traffic was routed onto the right shoulder until lanes could be cleared.

The CHP, Temecula Area is conducting this traffic collision investigation.


A fatal multi-vehicle accident early this morning, Friday, has resulted in the closure of both northbound and southbound lanes on Interstate 15 from Rainbow through Temecula, authorities said.

The crash, reported near the Rainbow Valley Scales close to Rainbow Canyon Road, involved four to five vehicles and left one person dead at the scene, according to the California Highway Patrol and Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department. No significant injuries to other individuals were reported.

A SIG Alert was issued at 5 a.m., disrupting traffic in both directions. As of 7 a.m., restrictions remained for northbound traffic, officials indicated.

The incident began with a chain-reaction collision in the northbound lanes, which led to at least two vehicles overturning and another being forced onto the center divider, based on emergency calls received shortly before the alert was issued. A vehicle on the southbound side also overturned after colliding with the center divider, the CHP noted.

Emergency responders discovered a gray Toyota Matrix and a white van lodged against the guard rail in the center divider. Efforts to clear the southbound lanes commenced, but officials have yet to announce when all lanes will reopen.

Motorists have been advised to use alternate routes, including eastbound State Route 76 to north Pala Temecula Road and then west on Temecula Parkway to return to I-15 northbound.

The incident has caused significant delays and authorities are investigating the cause of the crash. Further updates will be provided as more information becomes available.


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