Interstate 210 - The "Highway of Death"




I, like many other residents of the Inland Empire could not wait for the 16-mile extension of the 210 freeway that runs from San Dimas to Fontana to open a few years back. Each day me and tens of thousands of others jammed Baseline Avenue and Foothill Blvd. each morning counting down the days to the freeway Grand-Opening - Watching as the Caltrans workers slowly made progress - inch, by painfully slow, inch.

210 Freeway Entrance

When the "big day" finally arrived I was one of the very first to drive on the new 210 freeway. After impatiently waiting for the Highway Patrol to remove the roadblocks that were blocking the entrances to the on-ramps, my wife and I gleefully cruised from Milliken Avenue in Rancho Cucamonga to the Baseline Avenue exit near San Dimas - all in under 5 minutes. A trip that only hours earlier would have taken 15 minutes, and 40 minutes on a "work day"! Finally.. Our lives are complete, we mused. The daily drive to the office into the San Gabriel Valley would now take only minutes, instead of hours, and the value of our home would surely increase now that our neighborhood was freeway close. We followed the news of the construction of the freeway closely. It seem that the closer opening day got, the more delays or schedule changes there were.

These were to be expected for such a large project. But, sprinkled in the weekly news about the new construction of the 210 extension were the occasional stories of things gone wrong. The Caltrans worker severely injured now and again, the occasional major traffic incident on Baseline due to rubberneckers trying to look at the new freeway at 55MPH, instead of watching the road in front of them, etc. These things are to be expected. But there was one story that stuck out in the headlines. The story of the jogger, a doctor and his friend on their daily jog along the freeway construction path. The doctor it seems decided to hop over a three-foot high retaining-type wall - but instead of continuing his run on solid ground, he found himself dead, 35 feet below the small wall he just jumped over. This educated and intelligent man had jumped right off what was now an overpass and right onto the new freeway below. His jogging partner, in a desperate attempt to help his friend, was critically injured trying slide down the embankment to help.

Then there were the accidents

After the new section of the freeway had been opened for about 2 weeks, it seemed there were daily traffic accidents. All of these accidents seemed to happen between Mountain Avenue in Upland and Haven Avenue in Rancho Cucamonga. Some would say that collisions on freeways are commonplace, but we (my carpool partner and I) began to realize something was different. Over the span of approximately 2 months we personally had witnessed or driven by the aftermath of approximately 10 crashes between Mountain and Haven avenue. In that same amount of time, there were ZERO accidents east of Haven Avenue all the way into Fontana, and ONE accident west of Mountain all the way into Monrovia. This short, 5 or 6 mile stretch of Interstate 210 had 10-times more accidents than all the rest of the freeway, based on our observations!

Calle De Los Muerte

My carpool buddy and I jokingly began calling this short stretch of the 210 freeway The Highway of Death. My carpool partner, being of Hispanic persuasion, also referred to this stretch of freeway as Los Calle De Muerte. We were amused at first, but things got worse.

Freak accidents and tragedies

The stories of freak and tragic accidents, all on this short stretch of the 210 continued unabated. The woman that was killed by a wrong-way driver going UP an onramp, the story of the man killed as his car went out of control, up the embankment, and flipped-over. The stranded motorist and a tow-truck driver killed while in the emergency lane - struck by someone passing on the right in the emergency lane at 80 miles per hour, causing entire tow-truck to explode and burst into flames. The U.S. Solder, just back from a tour in Iraq, driving home from the airport that mysteriously went out of control, went up the embankment, hit a light standard and was instantly killed. The van driving normally, suddenly swerving from the far left fast lane, across all lanes of traffic to the far right, and up the embankment (this one witnessed by my carpool partner). The motorist, struck and killed while changing a tire in the emergency lane. The cement truck whose brakes went out coming down Haven avenue that went thru a red light on Haven hitting several cars, then proceeded thru the guardrails on the Haven overpass and diving headfirst into oncoming traffic on the westbound lane of the 210. And of course, the tragic shooting death of the teenagers on their way to school - shot and killed from another car while exiting the freeway at Haven Avenue. The shooter, later shot and killed by police while being pursued for another crime. Of course, we also have the permanent reminders of countless other collisions and near misses as evidenced by the skid-marks - so numerous that the cement is almost totally black in some spots. All starting at approximately Mountain Avenue and ending at almost exactly Haven Avenue.

Angry Mother Earth and Curses

My car pool partner and I have theorized that maybe this section of the 210 was built over an ancient Indian burial ground - and now the Indian spirits, or perhaps the spirit of mother earth herself has been angered. Or perhaps a homeowner who's home was taken under the guise of eminent domain, put a curse on all those who shall pass on this now cursed section of evil freeway. Or, then again, maybe it is just one of those things.. A coincidence - a statistical anomaly.

Stay Safe Inland Empire Commuters

One thing is certain though. To this day, every time my [now former] car-pool partner or I drive through this section of the 210 freeway, we slow down, stay alert, and refuse to stop in the emergency lane - no matter the cause. Stay safe my friends.. Stay safe.
If you remember any other 'odd' traffic accidents along the "Los Calle De Muerte", please post them below.

Re: Interstate 210 - The "Highway of Death"

7/20/14 RANCHO CUCAMONGA >> A wrong-way driver slammed head-on into another car on the 210 Freeway here early Sunday, killing himself and two of four family members riding in the other vehicle, authorities said.

Two other members of a family suffered major injuries, in the crash, which occurred just after 2 a.m. in the eastbound lanes just west of Day Creek Road, California Highway Patrol Sgt. Josh Buffum said.

The wrong-way driver was identified as Mack A. Jaramillo, 28, of La Habra, according to the San Bernardino County Coroner’s Office. He was the sole occupant of a 2011 Hyundai, and investigators were looking into the possibility he was under the influence of alcohol, the CHP said.

Two women who were rear passengers in the other vehicle, a 2013 Hyundai, struck by the wrong-way vehicle died, Buffum said. They were identified as Falguni Shah, 38, of Fontana and Veena Shah, 42, of London.

The driver of the 2013 Hyundai, 60-year-old Nitin Shah of Chino Hills, and front passenger Jyotsna Shah, 56, also of Chino Hills were hospitalized with major injuries, Buffum said.

CHP Capt. Joe Flores told the Associated Press that the Shah family was returning from a family reunion when they became involved in the violent collision, which took place in the carpool lane of the eastbound 210.

“(Jaramillo) was travelling westbound in the eastbound High Occupancy Vehicle lane of the 210 Freeway, at a high rate of speed, as determined by witness’ statement,” a CHP officer said in a written statement.

The family was eastbound in the carpool lane at an undetermined speed, officials said. The cars collided head-on.

Jyotsna Shah was taken to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton, where she was receiving care for broken bones. She said her husband was taken to Loma Linda University Medical Center, where he was being treated for injuries including fractures in both legs.

Jyotsna Shah said she remembered little about what happened early Sunday and didn’t remember anything after the crash because she passed out after the impact.

Rancho Cucamonga fire Battalion Chief Eric Noreen said firefighters had to cut open both of the wrecked cars to gain access to the victims. Jaramillo, Falguni Shah and Veena Shah were pronounced dead at the scene.

A rescue helicopter landed on the freeway to rush one of the badly injured survivors to a hospital, Noreen said.

Buffum said it was unclear exactly where the wrong-way Hyundai entered the freeway. There is an off-ramp leading from the carpool lane of the eastbound 210 just east of the crash scene to the Beech Avenue exit, which the wrong-way driver may have driven up to access the freeway. The investigation was ongoing.

A search of San Bernardino County Superior Court records revealed no criminal history on the part of Jaramillo.

All eastbound lanes of the 210 Freeway were shut down at the crash scene Sunday morning as officials investigated the scene. The Sig Alert was cleared about 7:15 a.m.

Re: Interstate 210 - The "Highway of Death"

One more to add...

http://blog.pe.com/breaking-news/2014/06/23/rancho-cucamonga-woman-killed-in-hwy-210-crash/

210 Freeway - The "Highway of Death"

"The victim, a 22-year-old female whose name was withheld until her family is notified, was driving her 2014 Nissan Versa east when, at about 1:42 a.m. just west of Haven Avenue, she lost control and crashed, the release stated."

That is RIGHT in the death-zone !

Re: Interstate 210 - The "Highway of Death"

I saw a man crash into the center divider out of nowhere last night on the 210 West between Archibald and Carnelian
The man was dragged out of his car to have CPR performed on him but he didn't live.. Scariest thing to see happen. I believe the 210 freeway has something going on with it for sure now

Re: Interstate 210 - The "Highway of Death"

This is really creepy, because I just witnessed a horric motorcycle accident between Milliken and Haven traveling west bound on 210 Jan 5 2013 approximately 7:57pm. I have seen other accidents near same vicinity. I am not superstitious, but this is quite odd. All I can say is pray and drive safely.

Motorcycle accident on the 210 in Rancho

I live just a few blocks from there, and now that I think about it I remember hearing all kinds of sirens that night. It's rare to hear sirens up here so it sticks out in my mind.

It is the Highway of Death!

Motorcycle crash on the 210

I saw that motorcycle crash too, on Sat Jan 5! He passed me up going at least 100-110mpt, swerving in between cars. He was only about 200ft in front of us when everything happened. We didnt see if he hit a car or if the car hit him? Does anyone know if he lived?

Re: Motorcycle crash on the 210

The car that was going into the lane I was in and where the bike was swerving into, did not hit him, he jerked back into his lane (middle lane), but the guy on bike jerked his bike to the left thinking the car was going to hit him and he lost control, resulting in his bike hitting car in front of him, hence he rolled onto middle lane) his bike skid for a bit. I will be suprised to hear he made it, I hope he did, but he is probably pretty banged up. The guy behind me got out of his car to check on him and his face looked like he was gone. I left the scene, was too much to handle. I did call 911 on way out of the lane.

Re: Motorcycle crash on the 210

I don't think he made it he was going way too fast. It happened right in front of my car I saw it happen in miliseconds, it was horrific. He was on second lane and his bike hit the car in front of me and slid and sparked on pavement. Thank God none of us were rear ended we all stopped at same time to avoid running him over. I researched on google, left message via email with CHP (no response to date), to find out if he survived as I did call 911 but left the scene I was pretty shaken up. I think it's very odd there is no mention of this accident. It happened minutes before 8pm.

Re: Interstate 210 - The "Highway of Death"

Death is in submission to life by being seperated and without each...

Re: Interstate 210 - The "Highway of Death"

I read this article a week ago and nearly replied stating that my husband drives this stretch every day to commute to Burbank and has seen only 2 accidents in his life, both of them between Campus and Mountain, one going each direction. I didn't submit my reply, however. About an hour or so ago I was checking sigalert.com for my husband and there has been yet another accident. On sigalert you could see the flames on the several web cams near Mountain. It seems a tanker blew up and took several cars with it, possible fatality. Its nearly 8 now and the freeway is still shut down. The webcam pics are creepy.

Highway of death strikes again.

Re: Interstate 210 - The "Highway of Death"

this is very scary my husband takes the 210 everyday for work we live right off of carnelian and recently off the basleine exit there was a fire started and they found a females body there this gives me goose bumps my husband will no longer be driving on this freeway we will stick to the 10 lol! && anyone know what also happened on 210 by baseline exit theres a crosss and i cant figure out what happened

Re: Interstate 210 - The "Highway of Death"

I'm there with you I will be taking 10 rather than 210 from now on.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <i> <strong> <font> <object> <center> <span> <style> <span style> <cite> <embed> <div> <h2> <h3> <h4> <h5> <h6> <map> <area> <a> <hr> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <img> <br> <br /> <table> <tr> <td> <u> <del> <ins> <sub> <sup> <blockquote> <pre> <strike> <caption> <p> <param>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.