PATTERSON — Interstate 5 traffic came to a crawl in both directions this afternoon after a Dodge Caravan crashed, injuring the nine people in the van and sending them to hospitals in Modesto and Turlock.
The single-vehicle roll-over accident occurred about noon on the interstate just south of Sperry Avenue, said Division Chief Steve Hall with the Patterson Fire Department.
He said the injuries ranged from minor to critical, and the nine were taken by ambulance to Emanuel Medical Center in Turlock and Doctors Medical Center, Memorial Medical Center and Kaiser Medical Center in Modesto.
Hall said authorities believe the Caravan was traveling south on the interstate. He said the van rolled down the embankment and ended up on the interstate’s median.
Authorities closed the northbound fast lane for about 45 minutes so ambulances could load and transport the injured, Hall said.
He said traffic slowed to a crawl in both directions for about two miles until about 2 p.m. when officials cleared the scene.
The names and hometowns of the injured were not available. He said authorities believe they were driving to Arizona.
He said poor visibility prevented the more seriously injured from being taken to the hospital by helicopter.