A 50-year-old Lompoc man was killed and another person suffered critical injuries in a multi-vehicle head-on collision Friday morning on State Route 1 just south of Constellation Road in Lompoc, authorities said.
The collision was reported at 11:05 a.m. involving three vehicles. According to the involved parties, a Toyota Corolla was traveling south on State Route 1 behind a slower moving vehicle in the no. 1 lane. An uninvolved vehicle was in the No. 2 lane. The Corolla swerved to the left and entered the center median in an effort to pass the slower moving traffic. As the driver entered the center median, it struck the driver side of a vehicle occupying the No. 1 lane, according to the California Highway Patrol.
“This initial collision caused the Toyota Corolla to spin out of control, crossing the center median completely and colliding into a white Ford Explorer,” the CHP said.
The Explorer was traveling north in the No. 2 lane. As a result of the collision, the Toyota left the roadway and crashed into an embankment off the right shoulder of the northbound lanes. It then caught fire, said Capt. Daniel Bertucelli, spokesman for the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.
The driver of the Toyota, whose name was withheld, was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the Explorer, identified as Brenda Begg, 55, of Lompoc, suffered a compound fracture to her leg. She was transported by a County Air Support to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, Capt. Bertucelli said.
The California Highway Patrol is investigating the cause of the collision. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Buellton-area CHP office at 688-5551.