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Traffic Accident Kills Two, Injures Four On Highway 101 in Santa Barbara County; Southbound Lanes Closed For Nearly Five Hours

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)
Two people were killed, and four injured in a Thursday morning crash which closed southbound Highway 101 near Gaviota

Southbound vehicles rerouted through Santa Ynez Valley to bypass shutdown

Two people are dead, and four seriously injured following a multi-vehicle traffic accident which closed a section of southbound Highway 101 in Santa Barbara County for hours.

It happened at around 8 Thursday morning, on southbound 101 on the Gaviota coastline, near El Capitan Ranch Rd. The CHP is still trying to determine what occurred. The collision involved six vehicles. CHP investigators say for some reason a northbound SUV swerved across the highway into the southbound lanes, hitting or sending debris into the path of other vehicles. The two people who died, and three of the four seriously injured were in the SUV which caused the huge pileup.

At one point, the backup was so bad it stretched for miles. Southbound traffic was turned around and sent back northbound. Motorists were advised to use Highway 154 through the Santa Ynez Valley to get from northern, to Southern Santa Barbara County.

The debris was removed, and the 101 was finally reopened at around 1 p.m.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.