A 42-year-old Lompoc woman was critically injured Thursday when her wheelchair shifted positions while she was driving, causing her to lose control and crash on Highway 101 at Gaviota, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Hollie Jambretz, a paraplegic, was driving south on Highway 101 at about 7:50 a.m. when her vehicle drifted off the road and overturned at the Gaviota Curve, according to CHP Officer Charles Hodgdon.
She told investigators that her motorized wheelchair, which was not anchored to her 2004 Toyota Sienna, began to drift toward the passenger side of the vehicle due to centrifugal force as she entered the hard left curve, Hodgdon said.
“At that point she lost control because she couldn’t use her hand controls,” Hodgdon said.
Two Santa Barbara County Fire Department engines responded to the crash, and found Jambretz’s vehicle on its wheels, about 50 feet off the side of the road, according to fire Capt. David Sadecki.
Jambretz had to be extricated from the vehicle, a process that took about 10 minutes, Sadecki said.
She was treated at the scene by paramedics before being transported to Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, where Hodgdon said she was listed in critical condition Thursday afternoon.