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Second fatal crash on Highway 1 near Morro Bay prompts call for safety measures

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Posted at 7:00 PM, Feb 28, 2022

The second deadly crash on Highway 1 at San Luisito Creek Road in the past few months is prompting a nearby resident to call for safety enhancements.

"I've got two dogs in this fight," said Gary Stoner. "My brother-in-law died and I can't get across the highway and now someone else died. Something needs to be done about it."

On Dec. 31, 2021, Stoner's brother-in-law was making a left-hand turn off Highway 1 from the southbound lane, trying to get home, when the California Highway Patrol says he turned in front of another vehicle and was struck.

That crash was almost identical to the one that happened Saturday, but this time it involved three cars and was coming from the northbound lane.

"The Honda CRV that was trying to make the left-hand turn did not clear the right of way, initiated that turn into oncoming traffic, and that’s when the KIA Ultima broadsided the Honda CRV along the passenger side. The KIA was then pushed into the number two lane and the Ford Escape that was initially in that number two lane ended up colliding with the right side of the KIA Optima," explained Miguel Alvarez, the Public Information Officer for CHP San luis Obispo.

According to CHP, in the more recent crash, all people involved were transported to the hospital. The passenger of the car making the left-hand turn later died of their injuries.

For Stoner, this is just a reminder of the loss he suffered on New Year’s Eve, and it was enough to kickstart his campaign for change. He’s now looking to Caltrans and the county to step in.

"I would like to have a traffic light with one of those crosswalks that talks to you like at Cuesta College. This intersection is downhill from South Bay Boulevard and downhill from Cuesta College so by the time you get down here, you're doing 80 and you don’t even notice," Stoner said.

KSBY spoke with a Caltrans representative who says that could be a lengthy process.

"Any change in our infrastructure is a decision that is made after careful research from our traffic safety engineers," explained Jim Shivers, Caltrans spokesperson.

CHP says the woman who was killed in the crash on Saturday was from Turlock, but her name has not yet been released.