Semi-truck driver dies after veering off highway, colliding with tree
A semi-truck driver died early Thursday morning after colliding with a tree by northbound Highway 101, just south of Calle Mariposa Reina in the Gaviota area.
The collision led to the closure of northbound lanes and a traffic gridlock that lasted for several hours.
The white tractor trailer was traveling northbound when it veered off the roadway and collided with a tree, according to the California Highway Patrol. The sole occupant and driver of the tractor trailer, a 41-year-old resident of Compton, was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle, causing major injuries, the CHP reported.
The driver succumbed to his injuries at the scene, according to the CHP.
After the incident, northbound Highway 101, starting around the Winchester Canyon exit, was closed at approximately 5:15 a.m. and remained closed until 10:35 a.m.. One southbound lane was closed off so traffic could be diverted, reported KEYT-TV.
The trailer was removed by tow trucks, and Caltrans tree trimmers removed parts of the tree in the center divider.
The identity of the deceased driver was not immediately available, and the cause of the accident remains under investigation by CHP.
Those with information regarding this collision, or the events leading up to it, are asked to contact Officer C. Sanchez at the CHP Santa Barbara Area Office at 805-967-1234.