Highway 166 east of Santa Maria was closed down for three hours early Tuesday after a crash that left a suspected DUI driver with major injuries, according to the California Highway Patrol.
CHP officers were called out at about 4:30 a.m. to the accident, which occurred on Highway 166 about a half mile east of Highway 101, said CHP Officer Robert J. Miller.
Christian Rossi, 21, of Torrance was driving a 2002 BMW westbound at a high rate of speed when he crossed in the eastbound lane and collided with a big-rig driven by Todd Huffman, 59, of Crystal Springs, Fla., Miller said.
Rossi, who officers say was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident and was not wearing a seatbelt, was trapped in the wreckage for about 30 minutes, Miller said.
He was arrested, then released for transport to Marian Regional Medical Center for treatment of his injuries.
Huffman was driving at about 35 mph when he spotted Rossi’s vehicle coming towards him, Miller said. He attempted to steer out of the way, but Rossi’s vehicle struck the left side of the big-rig.
Because of the impact, Huffman’s vehicle overturned onto its right side, and Rossi’s car came to rest on the shoulder of the highway.
Huffman and a passenger, Mark S. Amison, 45, were wearing seat belts and did not suffer any injuries, Miller said.
The highway was closed in both directions for about three hours because of the incident, Miller said.