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Local News

Driver Killed in Big-Rig Crash on Highway 166 Near New Cuyama

Roadway shut down by accident involving 5 semi tractor-trailers; 150-200 gallons of fuel spilled

The driver of a tanker truck was killed Tuesday in a multi-vehicle accident on Highway 166 near New Cuyama. Click to view larger
The driver of a tanker truck was killed Tuesday in a multi-vehicle accident on Highway 166 near New Cuyama. (Santa Barbara County Fire Department photo)

Highway 166 was shut down for a time near New Cuyama on Tuesday after a fatal vehicle accident involving five big-rigs, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

The crash occurred just after 7:30 a.m. in the westbound lanes just west of New Cuyama and east of Alisos Canyon in Santa Barbara County’s remote northeast corner, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The driver of a tanker truck carrying crude oil — Elias Garcia, 45, of Bakersfield — was declared dead at the scene, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Garcia was eastbound on Highway 166 when he crossed over the double-yellow line and collided with westbound semi tractor-trailers, the CHP said.

Garcia was ejected from the cab of his truck into a dirt field, and sustained major blunt-force trauma, the CHP said.

No other injuries were reported.

A side-saddle fuel tank on the crude-oil tanker was ruptured in the crash, resulting in a spill of 150-200 gallons, according to fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni.

A county hazmat crew was dispatched along with Caltrans personnel to cleanup the spill.

A small fire resulted from the crash, but was quickly extinguished, Zaniboni said.

Highway 166 was shut down for about an hour, then was reopened with one lane and alternating traffic.

The crash was under investigation by the California Highway Patrol.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton 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.

The driver of a tanker truck was killed Tuesday in a multi-vehicle accident on Highway 166 near New Cuyama. Click to view larger
The driver of a tanker truck was killed Tuesday in a multi-vehicle accident on Highway 166 near New Cuyama. (Santa Barbara County Fire Department photo)
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