Sunday, March 18 , 2018, 9:42 am | Fair 51º


Jackknifed Rig Blocks Northbound Highway 101, Spills Diesel Fuel

A jackknifed tractor-trailer rig blocked all lanes of northbound Highway 101 south of Casitas Pass Road early Wednesday morning.

Units from the California Highway Patrol and Santa Barbara County and Carpinteria fire departments arrived about 3:30 a.m. to find all lanes blocked, about 110 gallons of diesel fuel spilled onto the roadway and extensive damage to the guardrail and concrete undercrossing at Carpinteria Creek, with a small amount of diesel spilled into the creek.

Carlos Figueroa, 28, of Los Angeles was northbound on Highway 101 driving a 2001 Freightliner big rig in the No. 2 lane at about 55 mph. He made a turning movement that caused him to lose control of the truck. The Freightliner ran off the right shoulder, hitting the guardrail and the undercrossing. It came to rest in all lanes of the highway.

The impact to the guardrail and undercrossing ruptured the fuel tanks of the Freightliner and spilled diesel fuel onto the roadway and partially into Carpinteria Creek.

The California Department of Fish & Game, Caltrans, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department and other public agencies were notified and responded to the scene to collaborate on the cleanup of the diesel.

All northbound lanes were closed for nearly four hours for scene cleanup, investigation and vehicle removal.

The northbound Casitas Pass Road offramp is expected to remain closed until about 3 p.m. for repairs.

Police say alcohol was not a factor in this collision.

Officer Dan Barba is a public affairs officer for the California Highway Patrol-Santa Barbara Area.

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