Golden Gate Bridge closed after 7-car accident


The initial collision caused a chain reaction which damaged seven cars.

"Indeed, a silver Mercedes had traveled from the middle lane of the southbound traffic over to oncoming traffic and sideswiped a red pickup truck which was traveling northbound," explained CHP Officer Chris Rardin. "It continued, collided with a jeep also traveling northbound, causing the jeep to overturn."

Marin resident and ABC7 Vice President of Sales Mike Dempsey stopped his car and helped three people in a Jeep Cherokee.

"There were two girls in the back seat and we pulled them out of the windows," he recalled. "Dad was bleeding behind his ears, across his head. Gave him a rag and so forth, to try to clean that up before anybody had gotten there."

Two more vehicles got involved when another vehicle slowed down while trying to avoid the first collision but got rear-ended. Two other cars were struck by flying debris.

The bridge was closed for about one hour, causing a huge back-up. It finally re-opened at 12:20 p.m.

Crash tests show that movable barriers have been successful in stopping crossover accidents like the one that happened Wednesday. After decades of debate and study, Golden Gate Bridge authorities finally approved installing one.

They have raised $25 million for the project. Most of that money is coming from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. The barrier should be in place by the end of 2011.

Golden Gate Bridge Public Information Officer Mary Curry told ABC7 a barrier would have probably contained Wednesday's accident to the southbound lanes where the initial collision took place.

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