Lompoc resident Griselda Angeles, 29, lost control of her vehicle north of Firefighter Road as she traveled northbound on Highway 1 just before 6:30 a.m. setting off a chain reaction that caused multiple wrecks, according to the California Highway Patrol collision report.
The report says for unknown reasons, Angeles lost control of the car and blocked both northbound lanes of Highway 1 after coming to a full rest. Soon after, 35-year-old Chad Childress of Lompoc, who was traveling northbound, was unable to avoid his Toyota Camry from crashing into Angeles’ Dodge Magnum.
With the Dodge Magnum unable to move out of the roadway, a GMC Yukon driven by 41-year-old Santa Maria resident Alma Hernandez also traveling northbound, was not able to avoid the wreck and crashed into the Dodge.
The impact of that crash sent the GMC Yukon across the center divider and into the southbound lane directly in the path of a Toyota 4Runner driven by Santa Maria resident Bryan Jones Jr., 34.
The GMC Yukon continued traveling in the wrong direction on the southbound lane and crashed head-on into a silver Honda Civic driven by 59-year-old Rodney Talbot of Santa Maria.
CHP says immediately following the collisions, “The driver of a Dodge Charger collided with the rear end of a tan Honda Civic.” The driver of the Dodge Charger was identified as 34-year-old Santa Maria resident Jonathan Kees.
Highway 1 was closed for less than an hour to allow emergency crews to treat the injured and clear the roadway of vehicles and debris.
Angeles suffered major injuries. Childress and Talbot suffered moderate injuries. All three were taken to Marian Regional Medical Center.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation by the CHP.
A multiple car crash shutdown Highway 1 near Vandenberg Air Force Base early Wednesday morning.
Santa Barbara County Fire Captain Dave Zaniboni said the crash happened just before 6:30 a.m. at Firefighter Road and Highway 1.
According to the California Highway Patrol, a disabled vehicle near the center median was struck by another car. The collision set off a chain reaction, causing at least two separate wrecks. A total of seven vehicles were involved.
When CHP arrived on scene they declared it a mass casualty incident. Fire companies from Santa Barbara County and VAFB responded along with two ambulances.
One person suffered major injuries and was taken to Marian Regional Medical Center. Three people suffered moderate injuries, and three others refused treatment, according to Zaniboni.
The cause of the crash is under investigation. CHP believes weather played a factor in the initial collision.
After more than an hour, Highway 1 was reopened just after 8 a.m. in both directions.