The southbound 101 closed just below the Gaviota Tunnel for about two hours early Thursday morning as the California Highway Patrol disentangled a number of vehicle accidents. Injuries were minor, however, and no one was taken to the hospital, Officer Keith Rogers said, the press officer for the Buellton station.
The first accident involved two cars that ran into each other around 5:53 a.m. just north of the Gaviota rest area on the southbound side of the highway. Rogers said the accident was still being investigated, but that the fog had been heavy in the area this morning, which descends from the Gaviota Pass.
The second accident also involved two cars, followed by two more crashes entangling several vehicles. By then the southbound 101 was closed and traffic diverted to State Route 154.
The four crashes were separate incidents, Rogers said, and not one big pileup. Although he’d investigated deer and bobcat strikes in the area before, no obstacles were reported in the road regarding these accidents, Rogers said.
The highway gets slippery during the first rains, he added, recommending that people should ensure their windshield wipers can dry their window and that their headlights and especially their taillights worked. He also recommended drivers cruise at speeds appropriate for the weather.
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