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Santa Maria Man Survives Wrongway Hwy 101 Crash

Jaws of Life were needed to remove at least one of the crash victims from mangled vehicles involved in the high speed collision Saturday night.

Rudy Lopez of Santa Maria was the most seriously injured after the CHP says he drove his BMW into northbound Highway 101 traffic from the Grand Avenue off-ramp in Arroyo Grande at 9:30pm on Saturday night.

The CHP says two other drivers and their passengers involved in the head-on collision have been treated for slight to moderate injuries.

The CHP says Lopez has been charged with DUI.

“I ran out of the car, and I just saw the car, demolished, and I couldn’t find my Dad”, says Elena Lopez, daughter of Rudy Lopez who rushed to the accident scene Saturday night..

Rudy Lopez, along with his wife Angie, have owned and operated the popular Rudy and Angie’s Mexican Restaurant on Grand Avenue in Grover Beach for years.

“He’s very upset about what happened, he’s very apologetic”, Elena Lopez says about her father who remains in the hospital.

“A lot of people have come from all over because of my
Dad’s 49er memorabilia”, Elena Lopez says, “they know my Mom for her Marilyn Monroe, they know my dad for his 49er collection, the are big, avid 49er fans.”

Elena Lopez says the family business has fallen on hard times financially but she says she’s confident her family can pull to get through this latest crisis.

We’ve had a strong family restaurant, we’ve been going through hard times, the last year has been really hard for us at the restaurant and right now we’re going to do our best to keep it going and bring it back to what made my Dad proud”, Elena Lopez says, “this incident is hopefully going to be a wake up call for all of us to stand strong and stand together.”

The wrong-way crash shut down northbound Highway 101 through Arroyo Grande for more than an hour.

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