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Three Avoid Serious Injury as Cars Plunge Into Creek

Three people escaped serious injury Tuesday night when two vehicles collided, skidded off the roadway and plunged into a creek near Gaviota, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The accident occurred shortly after 6 p.m., when Wesley Tiffany, 39, of Santa Ynez was northbound in a 2010 Ford F-150 on Highway 101 near the Highway 1 turnoff, the CHP said.

Tiffany was in the right-hand lane, traveling at an “unsafe speed” on the wet roadway, the CHP said, when he spun out into the left lane and struck a 2011 Buick LaCrosse driven by Alfred Salazar, 53, of Santa Maria.

“Both vehicles left the west side of the roadway and fell approximately 60 feet into the creek below,” the CHP said.

Tiffany and Salazar were not injured in the crash, the CHP said.

Joe Roche, 58, of Santa Maria, a passenger in Salazar’s car, complained of pain to his chest, and was transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for treatment.

All were wearing seat belts.

The left lane of the highway was closed for more than two hours while crews recovered the vehicles from the creek, the CHP 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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