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Multiple kids hospitalized following crash on Highway 1 near Santa Lucia Road

Posted at 5:05 PM, Sep 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-16 23:09:23-04

Multiple children are in the hospital following a two-vehicle crash on Highway 1 between Vandenberg Space Force Base and Lompoc.

The California Highway Patrol says the collision happened just before 9:30 a.m. Friday, a couple of miles south of the base near Santa Lucia Road.

"One vehicle, a van, was stopped eastbound at Santa Lucia at Highway 1," said Sgt. Charmaine Fajardo, California Highway Patrol. "There was another vehicle traveling southbound on Highway 1 in the number one lane, and the silver van pulled out in front of that vehicle and was subsequently struck on the left side."

Fajardo says one of the children that was inside the van was ejected from the vehicle upon impact and taken by helicopter to a nearby hospital. Their condition is unknown at this time.

CHP also says that while some of the kids in the van were the children of the woman driving, there were other juvenile occupants inside whose mother came to the scene following the collision. The rest of the people involved were taken to the hospital by ambulance.

"It is a good reminder for people to ensure your children are buckled safely in their car seats when you are traveling and also to slow down and also look both ways before you proceed into an intersection," Fajardo added.

Friday morning, while crews worked to clear debris from the scene and tow the two vehicles involved, traffic on Highway 1 was stopped and drivers had to find another way to get to Lompoc.

"I can't move," said Javier Quintero, who was on his way to work. "I have to because I am going to Lompoc to do two jobs I have there."

The road reopened to drivers roughly two hours after the collision. CHP says the female driver of the other vehicle involved was also taken to the hospital for her injuries but her condition is still unknown.

Fajardo says due to the many injuries caused in the crash, the incident called for collaborative efforts from a handful of local agencies.

"We had Fire on scene, we had Vandenberg personnel on scene, we had Santa Barbara Sheriff's on scene, as well as CHP," she told KSBY.

While Sgt. Fajardo is issuing reminders for parents to ensure kids are wearing seatbelts, she says that as of now it is not an assumption that the children inside the van weren't buckled up.

All of the children inside the van are believed to have been young enough to ride in car seats. Drugs and alcohol are also not believed to have been a factor.