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Local News

Teen Killed in Crash That Shut Down Northbound Highway 101

Daniel James Perez, 16, of Santa Barbara was wrong-way driver who died at the scene after colliding with big-rig, according to CHP

A fatal accident involving a big-rig and a wrong-way teenage driver shut down northbound Highway 101 overnight between Santa Barbara and Ventura, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Although the roadway was reopened shortly before 6 a.m. Thursday, the closure caused a massive traffic tie-up throughout the night that extended into the morning commute.

The crash, involving a big-rig and a white Mustang, occurred at about 10:40 p.m. Wednesday on the freeway near Bates Road, the CHP said.

The driver of the Mustang, Daniel James Perez, 16, of Santa Barbara, entered the northbound freeway lanes from the Highway 150 offramp, said CHP Officer Jonathan Gutierrez.

The Mustang proceeded southbound until it clipped the left front of a Volvo tractor-trailer.

Daniel James Perez

The Mustang landed on its roof, and Perez ended up underneath and was declared dead at the scene, the CHP said.

The driver of the big-rig, Willie H. Lonie, Jr., 56, of Mississippi, was not injured.

The southbound lanes of the freeway remained open.

Some 20 gallons of diesel fuel spilled and had to be cleaned up.

Gutierrez said it had not been determined whether alcohol or drugs were a factor in the crash.

Perez was a student at San Marcos High School and a member of the school's baseball team, according to Barbara Keyani, a district spokeswoman.

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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