GOLETA, Calif. – A fatal, early morning crash between a pickup truck and a semi-truck west of Goleta closed a southbound section of Highway 101 for much of Friday, snarling traffic for miles.
According to the California Highway Patrol website, the agency reopened one of the southbound lanes shortly after 2:00 p.m. The second lane is expected to reopen by 7:00 p.m. Friday night.
The California Highway Patrol confirmed to Your News Channel that the driver of the Tacoma pickup was traveling northbound in the southbound lanes before 2:45 a.m. when he collided with the semi.
Santa Barbara County Fire responded to the crash shortly before 3 a.m. near Dos Pueblos Canyon Road. Scott Safechuck, Public Information Office with County Fire, said the pick-up truck burst into flames moments after the crash. Video from Safechuck shows firefighters putting out a fire in the grassy median of the highway.
Pickup Truck vs Semi Truck: HWY 101 SB, Just North/Dos Pueblos, Gaviota Coast. Pickup truck(Caught fire)-male driver pronounced deceased at the scene. Semi truck- male driver w/minor injuries refused transport to ER. SB HWY shut down see CHP for cause and reopening. CT 2:50am pic.twitter.com/nJEi4yDWkc— Scott Safechuck (@SBCFireInfo) January 5, 2024
The driver of the pickup truck was pronounced dead at the scene, and the male driver of the semi-truck suffered minor injuries and refused to be transported to a local hospital, according to Safechuck.
California Highway Patrol shutdown the southbound side of Highway 101 from Highway 1 to Dos Pueblos Canyon Road. Electric signs were placed at the Highway 1 and Highway 246 junction advising drivers to take an alternate route.
News Channel Forecaster, Anikka Abbott, who got caught in the miles-long backup, said traffic was eventually re-routed shortly before 8:00 a.m. back to the northbound side of Highway 101 north of the Dos Pueblos Canyon Road exit and was slow-going as motorists snaked their way towards the alternate route along Highway 154.
Abbott said eastbound traffic on Highway 246 was also "completely backed up, even beyond the Highway 101 entrance."
The cause of the crash is under investigation.