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UPDATE: Southbound Hwy 101 reopens at the base of Nojoqui Grade

2 firefighters were hit while assisting with the crash
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Posted at 7:26 AM, Mar 29, 2023

UPDATE - The California Highway Patrol says Wednesday morning's incident started when authorities responded to a solo car rollover crash on southbound Highway 101, north of Highway 1 near Gaviota.

According to the CHP, as Santa Barbara County firefighters were providing medical assistance to the person involved in that crash, the driver of a Nissan Quest headed southbound lost control of the vehicle and it started spinning out-of-control toward the crash scene.

CHP and fire personnel attempted to get out of the way, but two firefighters were struck. A CHP officer also reportedly suffered minor injuries as he dove out of the way of the vehicle.

UPDATE - All lanes were reopened as of 12:35 p.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.

Caltrans officials say southbound Highway 101 is closed at the base of the Nojoqui Grade through Gaviota to land a helicopter following a traffic crash.

Officials announced just before 9 a.m. that a hard closure was in place of southbound Highway 101 at Avenue of the Flags. There was an additional closure on southbound Highway 101 roughly 3.5 miles south of Avenue of the Flags.

Officials asked that people take Highway 154 as a detour. Caltrans officials said that one lane of southbound Highway 101 was expected to reopen sometime between 11 a.m. and noon.

Scott Safechuck of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department said the incident occurred just before 5:30 a.m., when two firefighters were hit by a minivan while tending to a patient who suffered a minor injury in a car crash. Safechuck said the two firefighters and the one patient were taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for their injuries. Injuries to the firefighters were described as major.

Safechuck said there was a total of eight people involved. The other five patients were taken to Marian Regional Medical Center for minor injuries.

Northbound Highway 101 closed temporarily just north of Mariposa Reina but reopened to traffic just before 7 a.m.