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UPDATE: Highway 101 reopens after over-turned semi-truck prompted hours-long closure near Santa Maria

SANTA MARIA, Calif. – An overturned semi-truck hauling food shut down northbound Highway 101 near Santa Maria early Friday morning, causing major traffic back-ups until the highway reopened nearly 12 hours later, according to CalTrans.

The accident was reported by the California Highway Patrol just after 4:40 a.m. on northbound Highway 101 just north of Highway 166 East in the Santa Maria area.

It caused a major traffic back-up through Santa Maria with the northbound lanes shut down until roughly 3:15 p.m., said CalTrans District 5 spokesman Jim Shivers.

The semi-truck was traveling northbound at an unknown speed and made an unsafe turning movement to the right and left of the east roadway edge, said CHP Officer Miguel Alvarez.

The truck hit a guardrail along the right shoulder and the impact forced the truck to travel across the northbound lanes. The truck left the west roadway edge and hit the guardrail in the center median, causing the vehicle to overturn and block the left lane, Alvarez said.

The driver had minor injuries and was transported to Marian Regional Medical Center.

The truck was loaded with produce and was unable to be turned back onto its wheels before the produce is loaded off due to weight concerns, he added.

By 1:30 p.m., northbound Highway 101 was closed completely at Highway 166 East, and traffic was being diverted to Thompson Avenue to reconnect with Highway 101, according to the Shivers.

The northbound lanes and Highway 166 on-ramp fully reopened around 3:15 p.m., Shivers said.

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Jade Martinez-Pogue

Jade Martinez-Pogue is the Assignment Editor and web journalist at News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Jade, click here

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