Man Causes Shutdown of 5 Freeway in East L.A.


A possibly suicidal man on an overpass Friday caused the complete shutdown of a stretch of the Santa Ana (5) Freeway in East Los Angeles, causing major backups in either direction through the afternoon rush, authorities said.

The man was seen on a freeway traffic camera grasping a sign attached to the Downey Road overpass, just west of the transition road to the Long Beach (710) Freeway.

After several hours, and with two airbags set up by firefighters beneath the overpass, the man was taken into custody around 7 p.m., according to reports from the scene.

During the standoff, northbound Santa Ana Freeway traffic was diverted onto the Long Beach Freeway and southbound vehicles were being diverted onto Dittman Avenue, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The transition road from the northbound Long Beach Freeway to the northbound Santa Ana Freeway was also closed, according to the CHP.

Vehicles caught within the closure area were turned around and led off the freeway.

A sergeant at the sheriff’s East Los Angeles Station said the man was considered possibly suicidal.

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