LOS ANGELES – Snow snarled major mountain highways and even dusted Malibu on Wednesday as a cold storm hit parts of California. One person was killed by a wind-related helicopter crash, and an overflowing river on the U.S.-Mexico border led to the evacuation of nearly two dozen people, rescues of about 50 horses and the deaths of four others.
Styming thousands of commuters and travelers, snow shut Interstate 15 over 4,190-foot Cajon Pass east of Los Angeles and roads through the San Gabriel Mountains connecting metropolitan Los Angeles to the commuter suburbs of Palmdale and Lancaster in the high desert to the north.
Interstate 5, a major trucking and travel route connecting Southern California with the Central Valley and Northern California, stayed open over 4,144-foot Tejon Pass most of the day, with on-and-off Highway Patrol escorts, then finally was shut down in the afternoon as conditions deteriorated. Massive backups developed below all the passes.