Don’t use your phone while driving – that’s the message the Santa Barbara CHP office is clearly hoping drivers take away from a January 22 incident in which answering a cell phone caused a motorist to swerve off Highway 154, tumble down 30 feet, and finally come to rest upside-down.

According to a statement from the California Highway Patrol, a 39-year-old Santa Barbara woman made the wrong decision in choosing to answer her cell phone around 3 p.m. last Thursday. In leaning over to reach the phone, she inadvertently drove off the road. Her vehicle landed in a way that necessitated use of the Jaws of Life to extract the woman and a passenger from the upended 2000 Ford Focus. Both the driver and passenger were wearing their seatbelts at the time. Once freed, they were transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for treatment. CHP’s press release noted that alcohol was not a factor in the accident.


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