Crash
Yes, it was worse than it looks. (Ryan Cullom / Noozhawk file photo)

Southbound traffic on Highway 101 along the Gaviota Coast was reported at a standstill Monday afternoon following a two-vehicle accident that was tied to a police pursuit.

The crash occurred shortly after 5 p.m. north of Refugio State Beach, and at least two ambulances were dispatched to the scene.

The incident began in the city of Lompoc, where police attempted to contact a woman driving a white Toyota RAV4, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Kevin McCool.

The woman, identified Tuesday as Dinera Arevalo, 24, of Lompoc, fled south on Highway 1, and was pursued by Lompoc officers and Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies, McCool said.

The CHP took over the chase once the woman reached Highway 101.

Arevalo was driving reckelessly, including on the right-hand shoulder, McCool said, and collided with a black Toyota Tacoma pickup truck north of Refugio State Beach.

The pickup overturned and crashed off the right side of the roadway, near the railroad tracks, while the RAV4 overturned and came to rest in the center median.

The two occupants of the pickup — Brett J. Bronstad, 60, and Michael D. Garcia, 58, both of Santa Barbara — suffered moderate injuries, and were transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, according to Santa Barbara County Fire Capt. David Zaniboni. 

Arevalo appeared uninjured, he added, but was taken to the hospital for evaluation.

Northbound traffic also was reported slow in the area due to the crash.

One lane of Highway 101 was shut down following the crash, causing a substantial traffic backup.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at tbolton@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

A vehicle that reportedly w

A vehicle that was being pursued by law enforcement crashed and came to rest on its roof Monday on Highway 101 near Refugio State Beach. (Ryan Cullom / Noozhawk photo)

Light-haired man with mustache smiling

Tom Bolton, Noozhawk Executive Editor

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at tbolton@noozhawk.com.