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UPDATE: Two dead in a traffic collision on Highway 101 in Atascadero

CHP
Posted at 8:53 PM, Apr 16, 2022

UPDATE (1:20 p.m.) - CHP SLO reports a man was arrested after allegedly causing a vehicle collision that left two dead.

Authorities said a Chevrolet Cruze with five passengers was traveling northbound on Highway 101 when it made its way to an asphalt shoulder before coming to a stop just south of the Santa Barbara Road off-ramp.

Reports indicate that Felipe Gonzalez, 21, of Santa Maria was driving a Chevrolet Suburban northbound on Highway 101 at speeds over 65 miles-per-hour, when he lost control of the vehicle and struck the rear of the parked Cruze.

The force of the impact sent the Cruze forward about 120 feet and caused it to rotate in a counter-clockwise direction, coming to a rest, facing forward in a south direction.

The driver and front seat passenger of the Cruze sustained major injuries and were transported to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo.

Two of the three other passengers in the rear seats of the vehicle were killed in the crash, one of them was not wearing a seat belt.

A three year-old child, who was also unrestrained, sustained major injuries and was transported to Valley Children's Healthcare in Madera.

The cause of the crash is under investigation and authorities believe alcohol was a factor in the crash.

Reports indicate that Gonzalez sustained minor injuries and was arrested.

California Highway Patrol San Luis Obispo (CHP SLO) confirmed at least two vehicles were involved in the crash. One lane on northbound Highway 101 near Santa Barbara Road in Santa Margarita is closed while first responders are on scene.

The collision occurred around 8 p.m.

According to CHP’s traffic incident page, smoke was seen coming from the vehicles, and two people were laying on the ground on the right side of the road.

The agency did not release details on the number of people hurt nor the extent of their injuries. However, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s office confirmed a coroner was requested at the scene.

This is a developing story.