Santa Barbara Man in Head-On Crash on Hwy 101
I’m Ed Smith, a Santa Barbara car accident lawyer. A Santa Barbara man was involved in a head-on collision accident caused by a wrong-way driver on Highway 101 north of Los Alamos. The crash left one man dead and two others uninjured. According to a California Highway Patrol representative, toxicology reports will determine if drugs or alcohol were involved in the accident.
The driver of a Dodge Caravan, 79, from Santa Maria, was driving north in an opposing southbound lane of Highway 101 when he crashed into a big rig heading south shortly after 9:00 p.m. The big rig is identified as a 1996 Kenworth driven by a 66-year-old Templeton man. The truck’s load was reported as 30,000 pounds of steel sheets for a combined weight of flatbed, contents and semi of about 80,000 pounds. A third vehicle, driven by the Santa Barbara man, 48, was identified as a Scion FRS.
High Impact in Head-On Collision
According to witnesses, the Dodge van was already traveling at a speed of 65 mph when he encountered the big rig, having previously missed several cars. Both the driver of the van and the big rig driver, 66, from Templeton, swerved, but the vehicles collided almost head on, hitting the driver’s front end of both vehicles. The van was traveling at 55 mph. The van’s driver was allegedly not wearing a seat belt, however, the other two drivers were.
After impact, described as a combination of the speed of both vehicles, putting it at 120 mph, the van ended up in the center median lying on the driver’s side. The big rig hit the center median, finally stopping 150 yards from the van. Before stopping, the truck lost its front wheels and suspension. The 2013 Scion was behind the big rig and encountered debris from the crash on the roadway. The driver said his vehicle was airborne for a little while, landing in the center median area near the big rig.
Response and Road Closure
Responders to the crash included the county fire department from Santa Barbara, Caltrans, emergency AMR technicians and personnel from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office. Traffic on Highway 101 northbound lanes proceeded unabated. Initially, traffic was halted in all southbound lanes while the investigation proceeded. One lane was opened at approximately 10:30 p.m.
Head-on collisions, particularly on a highway, are often fatal. According to the National Traffic Safety Board, they comprise roughly 3 percent of all accidents, yet the consequences of such accidents are serious. In California, the report states, the fatality rate is up to 12 times that of other highway accidents. Drivers are most often in the 20 to 29 year-old age group, and the incidence of drunk driving in wrong-way driving is high.
Santa Barbara Car Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Santa Barbara car accident lawyer. If you, or a family member has been hurt in a wrong-way driving accident, please call my office. I can be reached at (805) 372-0200 or toll free at (800) 404-5400 for free and friendly advice.
I’ve practiced law in California since 1982 and am proud of helping so many move on after an accident.
I am a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. This forum accepts only trial attorneys who have obtained verdicts and settlements for their clients of over $1 million.
For additional information about the way my cases have been resolved, please visit my Past Verdicts and Settlements page.
Photo Attribution: https://pixabay.com/en/autobahn-accident-germany-car-road-837643/