Friday, July 20 , 2018, 4:01 am | Overcast 66º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Big-Rig Driver Killed in Highway 101 Crash Was Under the Influence of Meth, Officials Say

The tractor-trailer struck a sedan, trapping a woman and her young daughters inside the vehicle as it dangled over a bridge railing

The driver of an 18-wheeler who died last month after crashing on Highway 101 was under the influence of methamphetamine at the time of his death, officials confirmed Thursday.

Charles Allison, 48, of Grover Beach, was killed Jan. 12 after his tractor-trailer struck a sedan while traveling northbound on Highway 101 south of Buellton. Allison’s truck plunged off the road into a creek 100 feet below, where it burst into flames.

Officials said Thursday that Allison had been actively using meth while driving.

“He did have high levels of methamphetamine in his system,” said Drew Sugars, a spokesman for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department, adding that the Coroner’s Office is still working on its report.

The collision forced the sedan into the road’s guardrail and was teetering over the bridge as rescue personnel worked to extract the three people inside.

A group of Navy Seabees stuck in the traffic were able to provide a forklift to support the dangling vehicle, while Santa Barbara County firefighters worked to free Kelli Groves, 36, of San Juan Capistrano and her daughters, Sage, 10, and Milo, 10 weeks.

The baby was unharmed in the crash, but Groves and her other daughter were kept at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for eight days before being released.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through Stripe below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >