UPDATE (6:15 p.m.): The California Highway Patrol says there are no indications that alcohol, drugs or distracted driving played a role in a wheel coming loose from a fifth-wheel trailer on Highway 101 in Paso Robles Thursday afternoon, killing a person in another vehicle.
At around 2:40 p.m., the 2014 Crossroads trailer was being towed by a Ford F150 truck when officers say the right wheel dislodged from the trailer’s rear axle and rolled across the southbound lanes.
The wheel then reportedly went across the median and landed on the roof of a Jeep Cherokee heading northbound, south of Spring Street.
The CHP says the impact from the wheel caused major blunt force trauma to the Jeep’s passenger, whose name has not been released. He reportedly died a short time later.
The driver, identified as an 81-year-old woman from San Miguel, was uninjured.
The driver of the Ford, who is from Florida, was reportedly unaware of what had happened until he was flagged down by another driver who had seen the wheel come loose.
At least one other crash was reported in the area a short time later prompting a SIG Alert to be issued.
The scene was cleared by around 5 p.m.
ORIGINAL STORY: A SIG Alert has been issued for a portion of northbound Highway 101 in Paso Robles due to multiple crashes in the area.
The California Highway Patrol is reporting one person was killed.
As of 3:31 p.m. Thursday, Caltrans said one lane of the Highway 101 offramp at Spring Street was closed.
A tire that came off a fifth-wheel reportedly hit a vehicle on the opposite side of the highway, killing a person inside.
CHP was unable to say whether the vehicle was in the northbound lanes at the time or on the offramp.
Other crashes were also reported in the area.
This is a developing story and will be updated as information becomes available.