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The aftermath of the wrong-way accident on 101 on September 23, 2009.

SBC Fire

The aftermath of the wrong-way accident on 101 on September 23, 2009.


Accident on 101 Kills One, Snarls Traffic

Wrong-Way Pick-Up Truck Driver Causes Six Car Pileup Near El Sueno Road


Originally published 9:34 a.m., September 23, 2009
Updated 11:18 a.m., September 23, 2009

A truck driving southbound on northbound Highway 101 is causing major traffic backups for commuters this morning, and the resulting congestion is spilling onto streets throughout Santa Barbara. Just before 9:30 a.m., however, one northbound lane was finally opened.

The aftermath of the wrong-way accident on 101 on September 23, 2009. This truck, initially described as a white Verizon truck, according to officials, got on the freeway in Goleta and crashed into five cars near El Sueno Road.
Click to enlarge photo

SBC Fire

The aftermath of the wrong-way accident on 101 on September 23, 2009. This truck, initially described as a white Verizon truck, according to officials, got on the freeway in Goleta and crashed into five cars near El Sueno Road.

The trouble started at about 6 a.m., when the California Highway Patrol got a call that a pick-up truck was driving the wrong direction on the 101 near Glen Annie Road in Goleta. The vehicle was initially described as a white Verizon truck, according to the CHP. Ten minutes later, a collision occurred near El Sueno, killing one person, who was reportedly driving a white van. Six vehicles were involved in the collision, with three cars appearing to have serious damage, according to witnesses. According to Santa Barbara County Fire Capt. David Sadecki, the truck got on the highway at Winchester Canyon.

The aftermath of the wrong-way accident on 101 on September 23, 2009. The driver of this vehicle was reportedly killed.
Click to enlarge photo

SBC Fire

The aftermath of the wrong-way accident on 101 on September 23, 2009. The driver of this vehicle was reportedly killed.

Two people were left with moderate injuries and three with minor injuries. It took fire personnel more than an hour to extricate one of the victims.

Traffic is being routed off the highway at the State Street/Highway 154 exit, and back on the 101 at El Sueno, but remains very slow moving for many drivers. Other side streets, including La Cumbre, Arrellaga, Modoc, State, and Foothill, are moving at a snail’s pace.

The driver of this white van was reportedly killed by the wrong-way pick-up truck driver on the morning of September 23.
Click to enlarge photo

SBC Fire

The driver of this white van was reportedly killed by the wrong-way pick-up truck driver on the morning of September 23.

CHP is currently working on opening the other lanes.

Southbound traffic was backed up to at least Turnpike with looky-loos, while some traveling northbound reported moving two miles in more than an hour.

Update, 11:18am

All traffic lanes on Highway 101 are now open, according to CHP. The reason the pick-up was traveling the wrong direction is still under investigation.

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