A 36-year-old Lompoc man sustained major injuries after his truck swerved off the southbound lanes of Highway 101 and hit a telephone pole Friday morning around 6 a.m. According to a press release from CHP spokesperson Officer James Richards, Vaughn M. Smith was traveling at a “high rate of speed” when his truck began to drift into the center median. He overcorrected and swerved across the freeway and into the pole, whereupon the vehicle then rolled over the embankment and onto the railroad tracks beneath the highway.
A Santa Barbara County Fire crew used the Jaws of Life to extricate Smith from his truck. Richards described Smith’s injuries as including a fractured C-5 vertebra, a fractured left femur, and a broken left forearm.
Richards also noted that the rescue process caused the railroad to halt service for approximately 40 minutes. The right lane of the 101 leading up to the crash site was also closed for a period this morning and consequently slowed traffic.