Early Thursday morning, a semi-truck trailer reportedly veered off the Northbound 101 near Mariposa Reina, crashing into a group of trees and killing the vehicle’s sole occupant, a 41-year-old truck driver from Compton.
According to California Highway Patrol spokesperson Jonathan Gutierrez, the fatal accident occurred around 4:45 a.m., when the truck driver — whose identity has not yet been released — reportedly lost control of the vehicle going at least 65 miles per hour. When the truck collided with the trees on the shoulder, the driver “was ejected from the vehicle, causing major injuries.” Gutierrez said the driver was not wearing a seatbelt and succumbed to his injuries at the scene.
The crash caused major debris, and the highway was closed from 5 a.m to about 11 a.m. while emergency crews undertook an “extensive cleanup.” According to online traffic reports, the eucalyptus tree that the semi-truck hit had to be cut up.
This incident is still under investigation, and California Highway Patrol encourages anyone with information regarding this collision, or the events leading up to it, to contact Officer C. Sanchez at the CHP Santa Barbara Area Office at (805) 967-1234.