A vehicle traveling northbound on Highway 101 veered off the road near the El Sueno Road exit in Santa Barbara, crashing into a tree at around 3:10 a.m. on Sunday, August 7, according to County Fire Department Public Information Officer Captain Scott Safechuck.
The driver of the white Toyota Camry suffered life-threatening injuries, with the passenger sustaining moderate injuries, and the car extensive damages. Both victims were extricated in five minutes with modern Holmatro tools and transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital by two ambulances. Safechuck noted that the tools were acquired through a $70,000 grant given to the fire department by the California Office of Traffic Safety in November 2019.
“This allows us to be more mobile and expedite our extrication without having to hook up an extra cable and power unit,” Safechuck said.
Caltrans was on scene as well, providing heavy equipment and assisting with the removal of fallen trees on the freeway with chainsaws. The third lane of Highway 101 was closed for an hour while the responders cleared the scene.