Weather conditions could be partly to blame for the 11-car pileup on the “Gaviota curve” Friday morning.
Seven separate crashes in the span of minutes created a car-strewn area that covered nearly 100 yards of southbound Highway 101, California Highway Patrol Officer Jacob Williams said.
Many of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department deputies on the scene and more than half of the drivers involved in the collisions reported that once they came around the curve, the sun hit their windshields, causing them to fog up.
No one was seriously injured in the crashes. Four people were transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and three were already released by Friday evening.
One driver, who reported that he hadn’t been able to see out any of his windows and rolled his car, spent Friday night at the hospital.
One lane of Highway 101 was closed for nearly two hours, but sheriff’s deputies helped divert traffic through the other lane and shoulder. The crashes happened around 7 a.m. and all lanes were cleared up by 9 a.m., Williams said.
The crashes involved so many of the same car — Honda Civics — that authorities started referring to people by what they were wearing, he said.
— Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.