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Santa Barbara County fire crews work to secure a car teetering on the side of a bridge on northbound Highway 101 south of Buellton, after it was involved in a crash with a big rig this afternoon. The truck driver was killed and three people were extricated from the vehicle.

Leah Thompson/ Santa Maria Times

Santa Barbara County fire crews work to secure a car teetering on the side of a bridge on northbound Highway 101 south of Buellton, after it was involved in a crash with a big rig this afternoon. The truck driver was killed and three people were extricated from the vehicle.


Fatal Accident Shuts Down 101 South of Buellton

Big Rig Driver Killed When Truck Falls into Creek Bed and Catches Fire


Originally published 3:29 p.m., January 12, 2012
Updated 8:07 p.m., January 12, 2012

Authorities have blocked off all Highway 101 lanes south of Buellton near the Santa Rosa Road exit as emergency crews respond to a fatal traffic accident.

According to the CHP, a big rig truck and a BMW collided in the highway’s northbound lanes at around 2:45 p.m. The truck fell from the raised lanes and into a creek bed, where it caught fire.

The CHP has reported one fatality, and based on scanner chatter it appears the truck driver was killed. The 38-year-old female driver of the BMW remains trapped in the car. Her two young children who were in the vehicle with her are being airlifted to Cottage Hospital with unknown injuries.

All traffic is rerouted to Highway 154.

A Santa Barbara City Fire crew is reportedly on its way to the scene to assist. Authorities anticipate working into the evening and have requested lighting equipment.

More information will be reported once it becomes available.

[UPDATE]: The mother has been successfully extracted from her car and is being transported to Cottage Hospital with moderate injuries. The children, a 10-week-old and a 10-year-old, suffered moderate injuries and were taken to Cottage as well.

It’s been confirmed the truck driver was killed. His identity is unknown at this time.

Radio dispatchers indicated the truck, traveling at 65 mph, went off the highway as it crosses Santa Rosa Creek and plunged approximately 100 feet down into the median space between lanes. The BMW was left dangling over the edge of the road.

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