The earthquake’s epicenter occurred near Northridge at 4:31 a.m. and had a 6.7 magnitude. The Northridge earthquake was the third major earthquake to occur in California after the earthquake of 1971 in San Fernando and the 1989 San Francisco-Oakland earthquake. The Northridge earthquake caused the Interstate 14 to fall onto the southbound lanes of the Interstate 5, resulting in multiple accidents and wreckage. The most tragic incident to occur at this location was the death of a LAPD motorcycle officer, Clarence Wayne Dean. Dean fell to his death reporting to duty early that morning after leaving his Lancaster home, when the quake hit. Dean driving south on the 14 Freeway in the early morning darkness rounded a bend on the transition road and plunged 30 feet from the roadway which had, unbeknownst to him, collapsed. The freeway interchange was renamed the Clarence Wayne Dean Memorial Interchange in honor of the fallen police officer.
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