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Local News

Driver Seriously Hurt in Crash with Tractor-Trailer

It took more than an hour Thursday to free a driver from the wreckage of a pickup truck that collided with a tractor-trailer rig, according to the Santa Maria Police Department.

John Russell, 57, of Santa Maria was seriously injured in the accident, which occurred shortly before 10 a.m. on the 700 block of South Blosser Road, said Sgt. Jesus C. Valle.

Russell was northbound in a 1998 Dodge Ram pickup, pulling a gardening trailer, when he collided with a big-rig that had pulled out from a private driveway on the east side of Blosser, Valle said.

“The driver of the Dodge pickup braked, but was unable to stop in time to avoid a collision,” Valle said. “The front end of the Dodge collided into the left side of the box trailer, which was partially filled with produce.”

Russell was trapped in his vehicle, and firefighters had to use the Jaws of Life and a fork lift to free him, Valle said.

Russell was flown by helicopter to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for treatment of his injuries, which were not believed to be life-threatening.

The tractor-trailer driver, Jose Raul Gamez Felix, 50, from Baja California was not injured Valle said.

He was released from the scene after the preliminary investigation, Valle said, adding that alcohol and drugs are not believed to be factors in the crash.

The accident shut down all lanes of Blosser, from Knudsen Way to Boone Street, for approximately 4½  hours, Valle said.

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.

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