A pedestrian suffered major injuries Friday when he was struck by a vehicle on Highway 101 in Santa Barbara, according to the Santa Barbara City Fire Department.

The accident occurred about 6:40 a.m. when the victim ran up an embankment near the Carrillo Street southbound onramp and onto the freeway, said fire Capt. Gary Pitney.

The victim, identified by the CHP as Guilabaldo Julian, 26 of Goleta, was in the middle lane when he was struck by a passenger vehicle, Pitney said.

A vehicle that was following then avoided colliding with the car in front, but was rear-ended by a big-rig, Pitney said.

Julian suffered compound fractures to his lower leg as well as head injuries, and was taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, Pitney said.

A 50-year-old Santa Barbara man who was passenger in the vehicle that was rear-ended suffered minor injuries, Pitney said, but there were no other injuries.

Pitney said it was unclear what Julian was doing on the freeway. He was with a group of people on Carrillo Street immediately prior to the accident, then ran up the hill into the traffic lanes.

“The people there with him ended up coming onto the freeway, which created some safety issues,” Pitney said. “The were trying to find out what was going on.”

A police chaplain was called to the scene, which often occurs on fatal accidents, but in this case it was to comfort the friends, Pitney said.

Traffic was backed up in the area for about an hour while the CHP investigated the accident and crews removed the wreckage.

The incident remained under investigation by the CHP.

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.