A driver died after a rear-end collision in Summerland Monday morning, and appeared to have suffered a medical emergency, said Battalion Chief Mike Gallagher of the Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Protection District.
The California Highway Patrol reported a collision on northbound Highway 101 near Evans Avenue at 8:35 a.m.
CHP and fire units from Montecito and Carpinteria-Summerland fire departments responded to the scene, Gallagher said, adding that a secondary report to dispatch indicated one of the drivers in the rear-end accident may have had a heart attack.
The person had no pulse and was not breathing when responders arrived, Gallagher said.
Fire and ambulance crews administered CPR, but the person was declared dead at the scene.
The CHP is investigating the collision, while the Sheriff’s Coroner’s Bureau will investigate the cause of death, Gallagher said.
Authorities cannot determine if the driver had a medical emergency and caused the collision, or the collision caused the medical emergency, he said.
The two vehicles involved in the rear-end collision, the deceased driver’s and the one it hit, had light to moderate damage, Gallagher said.
No other injuries were reported in the crash, which blocked one lane of Highway 101 during the morning commute.
The CHP said that the left-hand lane of northbound Highway 101 in the area, near Padaro Lane and Evans Avenue, remained closed due to the medical emergency fatality, but it was reopened shortly after 11 a.m..
“A person driving a Kia had a medical emergency then collided into a VW on the No. 1 lane in stop and go traffic. Medical personnel could not revive the driver of the Kia,” the CHP said in a statement.
No further details were available.