Long Beach Bridge Reopens After Earlier Fatal Fiery Crash

LONG BEACH (CNS) - The Gerald Desmond Bridge in Long Beach has reopened in both directions after a fiery three-vehicle crash triggered by a wrong-way driver left one person dead today.

The driver of a pickup truck was killed and two motorists suffered critical injuries in the morning crash, according to Jake Heflin of the Long Beach Fire Department.

A Mercedes sedan going westbound in the eastbound lanes crashed into a Ford Fusion and a pickup truck shortly after 7 a.m., Heflin said. Firefighters and paramedics were dispatched to the crash, where the drivers of the Mercedes and the Fusion had to be extricated from their vehicles.

A police officer suffered a laceration to his arm while trying unsuccessfully to pull the driver from the pickup truck. The driver of that truck was pronounced dead at the scene, Heflin said.

Paramedics transported the police officer to a hospital for evaluation. The drivers of the Mercedes -- which had a small engine fire -- and the Fusion were rushed to trauma centers for critical injuries, he said.

The bridge was closed in both directions until about 3 p.m., according to Long Beach Police.