H-BUELLTON

Jan 13, 2012 10:50 AM by Carina Corral

One lane remains closed after fatal accident on Highway 101

The northbound side of highway 101 near Buellton in Santa Barbara County is open to just one lane this morning following yesterday's crash involving a big rig. The southbound lanes have also since reopened.

The California Highway Patrol has identified the three people who survived the crash as Kelli Groves, 36, Sage Groves, 10, and Milo Groves, 10 weeks.

The driver of the big rig died at the scene and has not been identified.

The crash happened just south of Buellton and south of Santa Rosa Road.

It was a massive rescue effort between agencies across Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties.

About 2:40 p.m., a big rig traveling northbound on Highway 101 slammed into the back of a BMW carrying Kelli, Sage and Milo.

"The BMW was then forced into the center concrete wall where the three parties in the BMW became trapped in the vehicle," said Officer Danny Maher, California Highway Patrol.

The CHP said the big rig ran through the bridge railing, crashing into the creek bed below. It burst into flames, killing the truck driver.

The woman and children inside the BMW were trapped in the car, dangling over the side of the bridge.

All were rescued and received moderate injuries.

50 gallons of diesel fuel from the big rig poured into the creek bottom.

The Santa Barbara County Fire Department created a dike to keep the spill from spreading. Cal Trans said the bridge is still structurally sound.

At this time it is unclear how the woman and children are related.

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