Big rig crashes in Anaheim, catches fire, driver hospitalized

The driver of a big rig that crashed into a wall alongside the northbound lanes of the 5 Freeway in Anaheim, causing the semi to catch fire and authorities to shut down all lanes of the freeway for more than two hours, was hospitalized Friday morning in serious condition.

The crash occurred near Lincoln Avenue about 12:45 a.m. and caused produce from the semi to be spilled across lanes of traffic, according to the California Highway Patrol.  

The driver was trapped in the cab of the burning big rig and officers rushed in to save him.  

"They did put themselves at great risk of harm by attempting to retrieve the driver from the tractor, but due to his injuries, apparently, or his state of awareness he was not able to (free himself)," CHP Sgt. Janelle Bautista told reporters at the scene.  

The driver was taken to a hospital in serious condition.  

A SigAlert was issued for the northbound freeway lanes just south of Lincoln Avenue. The carpool lane reopened about 3 a.m. and the No. 1 lane reopened about 6 a.m. Crews continued their efforts to clear the remaining lanes, a process that was expected to continue for several hours.

The cause of the crash was under investigation.