A big rig crashed with a pickup truck on the 37 Freeway Thursday, killing a driver and badly snarling traffic into the afternoon, the CHP reported.
The crash on the westbound State Route 37, at the northbound SR 29 entrance ramp, was reported at 6:42 a.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.
Police immediately shut down the 29 on ramp to the 37 and a SigAlert was subsequently issued for a closure from the westbound Interstate 80 to the 37.
The California Highway Patrol confirmed to Patch that the Ace Hardware truck driver was taken to a local Kaiser hospital, where he died of his injuries.
According to CHP Officer Christopher Parker, the big rig and the pickup both were traveling west on 37 when for some reason they struck each other and both went into the entrance ramp railing.
The big rig went over the railing and down about four feet to the 29, Parker told Patch.
"Witnesses recall hearing an explosion," Parker told Patch, "but we think the impact caused a small fire."
The Ace driver was making deliveries to various stores so, "we don't know what type of chemicals were there," Parker said.
Traffic was snarled for hours and as of 2:25 p.m., one lane -- a far right turn lane on 29 -- was still closed, as hazardous materials teams and emergency crews cleaned up the mess.
Emergency crews requested "a couple of hundred feet of cable," according to the CHP incident log.
The pickup driver refused medical treatment and left the scene, Parker said.