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Wednesday, March 20 , 2019, 3:24 am | Overcast 54º

 
 
 
 
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Highway 101 Lanes Reopened Near Gaviota After Gravel Truck Collision Closures

Car hits back of 18-wheeler truck, causing driver to lose control, hit center divider and spill load onto northbound and southbound highway lanes on Nojoqui Grade, CHP says

Lanes of southbound and northbound Highway 101 are closed after a gravel truck overturned on the Nojoqui Grade.
Lanes of southbound and northbound Highway 101 are closed after a gravel truck overturned on the Nojoqui Grade.  (Mike Eliason / Santa Barbara County Fire Department photo)

Most lanes of Highway 101 near the Highway 1 intersection were closed for several hours Monday afternoon after a gravel truck overturned on the Nojoqui Grade near Gaviota, according to the California Highway Patrol.

All lanes were reopened at 5 p.m. after about a four-hour closure, according to the CHP. 

An Audi driver was traveling in the fast lane on southbound Highway 101 passing an 18-wheeler, two-trailer gravel truck.  

The car's driver lost control for unknown reasons and collided with the left rear tire of the semi, the CHP said.

This collision caused the semi driver to lose control, crash into the center divider and spill the trailer loads of gravel into southbound and northbound lanes. 

Two additional cars saw the collision and stopped on the right shoulder to offer assistance when, for unknown reasons, a tow truck driver approaching the scene lost control and collided into both the BMW and Honda parked on the side of the road. 

No injuries were reported after two collisions on the Nojoqui Grade Monday afternoon, including a gravel truck that overturned onto the center divider. Click to view larger
No injuries were reported after two collisions on the Nojoqui Grade Monday afternoon, including a gravel truck that overturned onto the center divider.  (Mike Eliason / Santa Barbara County Fire Department photo)

There were no injuries, but all southbound Highway 101 lanes and all but one northbound lane were closed for hours while crews cleaned up gravel and cleared damaged vehicles from the roadway. 

The collision near Gaviota was reported at 12:54 p.m. and southbound lanes were closed at Buellton with traffic being diverted to Highway 246. 

Two out of three northbound lanes were also closed because of the rocks scattered across the roadway, said Jim Shivers, public information officer for Caltrans District 5. 

The Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management sent out an alert warning motorists of the closures, with all southbound lanes are closed at Highway 246 and one lane of northbound Highway 101 was closed near the separation with State Route 1, south of Buellton. 

The initial incident involved a gravel truck and passenger vehicle, with no injuries reported, Santa Barbara County Fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni said.

A second accident involved two vehicles that pulled over to the side to check on the initial collision. While people were outside their vehicles, a southbound tow truck hit the two parked vehicles, causing major damage but no injuries, Zaniboni said. 

CHP and Caltrans crews spent hours at the scene cleaning up gravel and conducting traffic control. 

The CHP is investigating the cause of the accidents.

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.

Gravel Truck Overturns on Highway 101 Nojoqui Grade: Santa Barbara County Fire Department video from Noozhawk on Vimeo.

Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol have closed multiple lanes of Highway 101 on the Nojoqui Grade near Gaviota after a gravel truck overturned and spilled rocks onto lanes in both directions. Click to view larger
Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol have closed multiple lanes of Highway 101 on the Nojoqui Grade near Gaviota after a gravel truck overturned and spilled rocks onto lanes in both directions.  (Mike Eliason / Santa Barbara County Fire Department photo)

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