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Southbound lanes of Highway 79 reopen between Beaumont and San Jacinto after collisions

By in Press Enterprise on February 2, 2018

By Gail Wesson

Southbound Highway 79 between Beaumont and San Jacinto has reopened after about 2 1/2 hours of gridlock due to multiple collisions on the Lamb Canyon road, according to a California Highway Patrol traffic incident log.

The initial collision was reported just before 6 p.m., and the two southbound lanes just south of the turnoff for the Lamb Canyon county landfill had reopened by 8:23 p.m. according to the log.

Update–RICO: SR-79 at County Landfill Rd, MM37.5, all lanes open #Caltrans8

— Caltrans District 8 (@Caltrans8) February 2, 2018

Up to seven vehicles may have been involved in one or more collisions. Multiple tow trucks were directed to go the wrong way in open lanes to reach the scene, according to the incident log.

Traffic was backed up toward Beaumont, and additional callers to the CHP after 7 p.m. reported that some vehicles U-turned to go north back toward Beaumont in the southbound lanes in an attempt to get out of the gridlocked traffic.

The canyon route is a four-lane highway with only one traffic-signal controlled intersection at the turnoff for the county landfill. The route links up with the 10 Freeway in Beaumont and goes south to the San Jacinto Valley and Southwest Riverside County.

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