A portion of Highway 101 shut down late Wednesday night to allow for follow-up investigation of a series of accidents that sent four people to the hospital and led to one arrest, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The closure, involving the northbound lanes just west of Santa Barbara, began at 10 p.m., said CHP Officer James Richards.
Traffic was taken off the freeway at Highway 154, and allowed back on at El Sueno Road, he said.
Five vehicles were involved in the series of four separate collisions that began at about 4:30 a.m. on the northbound freeway near El Sueno, Richards said.
The incident was triggered by a single-vehicle accident involving a Toyota sedan driven by Alejandro Morales-Moscaira of Isla Vista, Richards said. His vehicle struck the right guard rail, and came to rest in the traffic lanes, perpendicular to approaching traffic.
Morales-Moscaira and a passenger, Edward Moscaira-Hernandez, the registered owner of the vehicle, were standing on the side of the freeway after the wreck, Richards said.
Another vehicle, driven by Eileen M. Huddleston, 54, of Moreno Valley, then came along and slammed into the darkened wreckage, which was blocking the freeway lanes, Richards said.
Moments later, another northbound vehicle, driven by Chandler P. Guilbeault, 37, of Goleta, came upon the accident scene, braking quickly and steering to the left to avoid a collision, Richards said.
However, a vehicle that was following, driven by Kyle Ong, 28, of Santa Barbara, slammed into the rear of Guilbeault’s vehicle, he said.
The final collision occurred when a fifth vehicle, driven by Margarita Ramirez, 39, of Santa Barbara, struck the wreckage of the first two vehicles, Richards said.
Ong was trapped in the wreckage of his vehicle, and had to be extricated by firefighters, Richards said.
Huddleston, Ramirez and Morales-Moscaira suffered minor to moderate injuries, and also were hospitalized, Sadecki said.
Morales-Moscaira was unlicensed, and also was arrested on suspicion of DUI, Richards said.
The northbound freeway remained shut down Monday until about 7 a.m., causing major back-ups in the morning commuter traffic.
Richards said he did not know how long the Monday night closure would last.