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Man Hospitalized After Rollover Wreck Near Los Alamos

A 73-year-old man was airlifted to the hospital with serious injuries Thursday after his vehicle rolled four times on Highway 101 near Los Alamos, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

Three county engines and the California Highway Patrol responded about 9:45 a.m. to report of a vehicle into a tree a quarter mile south of Woodchopper Hill, between Highway 154 and Los Alamos, according to fire Capt. David Sadecki.

A Ford Explorer driven by a 73-year-old man was northbound at about 80 mph in the fast lane when his vehicle drifted into the center divider, said CHP Officer Ken Guerrier.

The driver overcorrected to the right, then steered back to the left, at which point he completely lost control, Guerrier said.

His vehicle overturned four times and came to rest near some trees, he added.

Firefighters spent 10 minutes extricating the driver before he was airlifted via Calstar helicopter to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, Guerrier said

A passenger in the vehicle escaped without injury.

“Seat belts save lives,” Guerrier said, noting that the driver also was wearing a seatbelt.

Both northbound lanes of Highway 101 were closed for several minutes while the driver was loaded into a helicopter, according to Sadecki.

Guerrier said he has no updated condition for the driver, who was difficult to communicate with because he speaks only Korean.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff 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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