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CHP Identifies Santa Maria Man Killed in Rollover Accident Near Gaviota Tunnel

A vehicle crashed off the roadway into a creek bed Monday afternoon and the driver was pronounced dead at the scene.
A vehicle crashed off the roadway into a creek bed Monday afternoon and the driver was pronounced dead at the scene.  (Ryan Cullom photo)

A Santa Maria man was identified as the victim of a single-vehicle rollover accident Monday on Highway 101 near the Gaviota Tunnel, according to the California Highway Patrol. 

Ronald Mills, 56, was driving a GMC Sierra northbound and, for unknown reasons, lost control of the vehicle and overturned in the center median, down an embankment, authorities said. 

The vehicle landed on its roof in a creek bed and trapped the driver, who was declared dead at the scene

CHP is investigating the accident and conducting a toxicology report to determine if alcohol and/or drugs were involved, Officer John Ortega said. 

The 2:30 p.m. call occurred hours after the driver of a minivan was injured in a rollover accident in the same area, just north of the tunnel.  

Wet roads may have contributed to the rash of highway vehicle accidents Monday, which included multiple vehicles driving off the road and a gravel truck overturning its load blocking all but one lane of Highway 101 for several hours. 

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli 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.

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