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Three-Vehicle Highway Collision Sends SUV Over a Cliff

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A Toyota Highlander, involved in a three-vehicle collision on southbound Highway 101 on Wednesday, plummeted over a cliff and came to rest on its roof near the railroad tracks. (California Highway Patrol courtesy photo)

At 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, California Highway Patrol, fire and ambulance personnel received a call of a three-vehicle collision on southbound Highway 101, north of Evans Avenue.

Three vehicles were involved, with one about 100 feet over the edge of a cliff on the west side of the roadway.

Patrick Joerger, 23, of Ventura, was driving his 2005 Chevy Express van southbound on Highway 101 at 60 to 65 mph. A Toyota Highlander driven by Etelina Figueroa, 58, of Carpinteria, was in front of Joerger’s van. A 2002 GMC Sierra towing a woodchipper driven by Nicolas Pinedo, 47, of Ventura, was next to Joerger and Figueroa.

Joerger’s van struck the rear of the Highlander, sending the Highlander out of control. The Highlander crossed the right-hand lane and the right shoulder before plummeting over a large cliff, coming to rest on its roof near the railroad tracks.

This impact caused Joerger to lose control of his van, and it also crossed into the right lane and struck Pinedo’s GMC Sierra. Both vehicles came to rest on the right shoulder of the highway.

Figueroa and her 8-year-old female passenger were transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital with complaints of pain and abrasions. Figueroa was admitted for observation. Both were wearing seatbelts.

Pinedo was also transported to Cottage hospital with complaints of pain, treated and released. Joerger also sustained minor injuries.

Alcohol/drugs were not a factor in this collision.

Daniel Barba is a public affairs officer for the California Highway Patrol, Santa Barbara area.

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