The results of a toxicology report released Wednesday show that Charles Allison Jr. — the truck driver killed in last month’s dramatic accident on the Nojoqui Creek Bridge near Buellton — was under the influence of methamphetamine at the time of the crash.
The extremely high level of meth in Allison’s system, explained Sergeant Sandra Brown with the Coroner’s Office, means he was actively using the drug, either while driving or at a stop made within 30 minutes of the accident. “He was at the level where people exhibit aggressive behavior or have hallucinations,” Brown said. Allison also had amphetamine in his system, the report reads, the result of his body breaking down the methamphetamine.
The California Highway Patrol has ruled Allison’s drug use the direct cause of the collision.
Allison, 48 years old and a resident of Grover Beach, was killed when his tractor-trailer hit a BMW in the northbound lanes of Highway 101, careened off the bridge into a creek bed, and caught fire. The driver of the BMW — 36-year-old Kelli Groves of San Juan Capistrano — and her two young children remained trapped in the car for over an hour as it teetered precariously on the edge of the bridge 100 feet in the air.
Fire crews were eventually able to extricate the family with the help of a nearby Navy vehicle and its forklift. All three were transported to Cottage Hospital and treated for moderate, non-life threatening injuries. Both sides of the highway were shut down for hours and traffic was rerouted to Highway 154.