Two people were killed and five injured Sunday in three separate accidents on Highway 101 between 8:18 and 8:50 p.m. The night before, 13 people were injured in a two-car crash on Highway 154. All of the incidents are under investigation, and the names of those involved have not been released.
At around 8:40 p.m. on Sunday, a 32-year-old Santa Maria woman was killed in a single-car crash south of Orcutt, according to the California Highway Patrol. The woman was riding passenger in a Chevy SUV when it careened 80-100 feet off the side of the highway. She was not wearing a seatbelt and was thrown from the vehicle. The driver, a 41-year-old Santa Maria man, was able to free himself from the wreckage with a broken collarbone. After he was treated at Marian Regional Medical Center, he was booked in Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.
At around the same time, County Fire crews rushed to the scene of another single-vehicle accident on northbound Highway 101 near the Gaviota rest stop. Firefighters spent more than an hour looking for a GMC pickup truck that had plunged into the creek between the northbound and southbound lanes. When they found it, they discovered a 52-year-old male driver with moderate injuries trapped in the vehicle and his 64-year-old female passenger dead at the scene from major injuries. Officials said the driver likely lost control of the truck on the wet roadway during Sunday’s rains. Both he and deceased victim are from Lompoc.
Shortly before that incident, three people were hurt in a crash on Highway 101 just north of Gaviota near the Highway 1 junction. Officials couldn’t immediately be reached for comment for details on that crash.
On the previous Saturday night, 13 people were hurt in a head-on collision involving a passenger van. According CHP officials, the fully-loaded van was heading westbound on Highway 154 near Los Olivos when a Cadillac CTS driven by a 25-year-old Santa Ynez resident turned into its path. The driver of the van, a 21-year-old also from Santa Ynez, tried to avoid the Cadillac but couldn’t, and the van was sent off the side of the road in the collision and overturned. The Cadillac’s driver wasn’t wearing a seatbelt and suffered major injuries. Five other people were taken to the hospital with moderate to minor injuries. Seven people were treated at the scene for cuts and bruises.