Thursday, July 19 , 2018, 4:33 pm | Fair 77º


Lompoc Man Hospitalized with Major Injuries after Highway 101 Crash

Witnesses say driver drifted into median east of Refugio Road, over-corrected and plunged down an embankment to railroad tracks below.

A Lompoc man was hospitalized with major injuries Friday after a one-vehicle accident on Highway 101 east of Refugio Road.

According to a California Highway Patrol report, witnesses reported that a 2000 Chevy S-10 pickup drifted left into the center median on southbound Highway 101 about 6 a.m. Friday, whereupon the driver over-corrected and lost control, swerving across the freeway and onto the right shoulder, where the truck struck a Verizon telephone pole.

The truck, according to CHP, continued down along the embankment, coming to a rest on the Union Pacific railroad tracks.

The CHP said the railroad shut down service for 40 minutes for the rescue. Santa Barbara County Fire Department crews used Jaws of Life to extricate the driver, Vaughn M. Smith, 36, of Lompoc, from his truck. Smith was transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital with major injuries, including fractures to his spine, left leg and left forearm.

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