Jan 13, 2012 1:31 AM by Shelby Rhodes

Woman and children in Highway 101 crash identified

The California Highway Patrol has identified the three people who survived the Highway 101 crash Thursday 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 on Highway 101, just south of Buellton. 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. Inside the car, Kelli, Sage and Milo Groves.

"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.

CHP said the big ran 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. Kelli and Sage Graves appeared seriously hurt.

Rescue crews were able to get the baby out of the car. She was okay. A U.S. Navy Sea Bee tow vehicle happened to be in the area. The Sea Bees stabilized the BMW with a ladder, so rescuers could extricate the woman and child.

CHP said the mess left behind in the bed created a hazmat situation. 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, but there was enough damage to close it for hours.

At this time it is unclear how the woman and children are related. The Santa Barbara County Fire Department said all three have moderate injuries.



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