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Local News

Tow Driver Seriously Hurt While Clearing Highway 101 Wreck at Gaviota

A tow-truck driver suffered major injuries Thursday when he was struck by a tractor-trailer rig as he was attempting to remove wreckage from an earlier accident on Highway 101 at Gaviota, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Richard Reeder, 59, of Santa Ynez was taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital after suffering fractures, cuts and bruises in the accident on southbound Highway 101, north of the Gaviota Rest Area, the CHP said.

His injuries were not believed to be life-threatening, the CHP said.

Reeder, who works for Olivera’s Towing, was at the scene of a single-vehicle, rollover accident at about 9:25 a.m. when the accident occurred.

Reeder was standing outside his truck when a tractor-trailer driven by Jose L. Vargas Perez approached the accident scene in rainy weather, the CHP said.

The trailer of Perez’s rig sideswiped a fire truck parked along the right shoulder, then struck Reeder, the CHP said.

Perez, apparently unaware of the collision, continued southbound, but was stopped by CHP officers a short time later, the CHP said.

The accident remained under investigation, the CHP said, adding that alcohol and drugs were not believed to be factors in the collision.

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