Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Alcohol ruled out in big-rig crash


Alcohol was not involved in a semitrailer crash that closed down southbound lanes of Highway 101 in Santa Barbara for three hours on Monday afternoon, authorities said yesterday.
A 25-year-old Pico Rivera resident apparently lost control of his big rig at approximately 3:10 p.m., California Highway Patrol officials said, hitting three other vehicles before slamming into the concrete center divider just north of Milpas Street.

The impact sent debris flying into northbound traffic, impacting three more vehicles, CHP Officer Dan Barba said.
“Responding units arrived to find seven vehicles involved on both the southbound and northbound lanes of [the highway], with the southbound lanes blocked by the big rig, oil in the roadway, and minor and major injuries to some of the involved parties,” he said in a news release.
A 36-year-old Corona man suffered major injuries to his face after debris shot through the windshield of a northbound Dodge Ram, authorities said. The victim, a passenger in the truck, was admitted to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and remains in fair condition.
Medics also took a 46-year-old Thousand Oaks man and a 48-year-old Newbury Park man — both passengers in southbound vehicles involved in the collision — to the hospital where they were treated and released with minor injuries, Barba said.
While alcohol has been ruled out as a contributing factor, authorities said the collision remains under investigation.
Crews closed down southbound lanes for three hours to treat patients, remove damaged vehicles, investigate the scene and clean oil off the roadway, Barba said. During the closure, authorities rerouted traffic using surface streets.

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