Tuesday, June 19 , 2018, 3:11 am | Fair 57º

 
 
 
 

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Woman Seriously Injured in Highway 101 Wreck Near El Capitan State Beach

Two vehicles came to rest near railroad tracks; Christina Warnars, 39, of Santa Barbara arrested on DUI charges

A woman was seriously injured Wednesday in a two-vehicle crash on southbound Highway 101 near El Capitan State Beach.
A woman was seriously injured Wednesday in a two-vehicle crash on southbound Highway 101 near El Capitan State Beach. (Mike Eliason / Santa Barbara County Fire Department photo)

A woman was seriously injured Wednesday in a suspected DUI accident on Highway 101 near El Capitan State Beach, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

The crash involving two vehicles occurred at about 10:15 a.m. on southbound Highway 101, just south of El Capitan, said fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni.

Both vehicles left the roadway and came to rest near the railroad tracks that run parallel to the highway, Zaniboni said.

The female driver of a 1999 BMW — identified by the California Highway Patrol as Christina Warnars, 39, of Santa Barbara — was trapped in the wreckage and required extrication, Zaniboni said.

She suffered major head trauma, the California Highway Patrol said, and was transported by AMR ambulance to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

Details on her condition were not available.

Warnars subsequently was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, according to CHP Office Jonathan Gutierrez.

Warnars was driving in the fast lane at a high rate of speed when she drifted to the left, then swerved to the right, colliding with a 2014 Toyota driven in the right-hand lane by Junwei Li, 36, of Diamond Bar, California, Gutierrez said.

Li and two passengers in the Toyota escaped injury, Zaniboni said

"Trains using that route were canceled in both directions and a railroad inspector was called to inspect the tracks, as the BMW may have caused damage to the train tracks," Gutierrez said.

Once the railroad inspector gives approval, the tracks will be reopened to regular traffic.

One lane of traffic was expected to be closed in the area for about two hours, the CHP said.

Cause of the crash remained under investigation by the CHP.

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.

Firefighters carry a woman who was seriously injured in a crash on Highway 101 near El Capitan State Beach to a waiting ambulance. Click to view larger
Firefighters carry a woman who was seriously injured in a crash on Highway 101 near El Capitan State Beach to a waiting ambulance. (Ryan Cullom photo)

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