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Originally published Wednesday, June 15, 2011 at 8:20 AM

Trucker killed in California runaway big-rig crash

A trucker was killed when his runaway semi slammed into another truck at the bottom of a steep grade on California's U.S. Highway 101.

The Associated Press

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CAMARILLO, Calif. —

A trucker was killed when his runaway semi slammed into another truck at the bottom of a steep grade on California's U.S. Highway 101.

The northbound Ventura County freeway lanes were closed nearly seven hours early Wednesday morning.

The California Highway Patrol says northbound freeway lanes between Newbury Park and Camarillo reopened around 6:45 a.m.

The area is about 50 miles west of Los Angeles

Investigators say the driver of a big-rig apparently lost his brakes on a three-mile stretch of road with a posted 7 percent grade. It drops about 1,000 feet from the Santa Monica Mountains to the Oxnard Plain.

KNX radio says eight vehicles were tangled up in the crash, including the two semis.

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