Even though I'm a writer by trade, I'll admit that this picture is worth a bucket of words.
The good news is that the people in this car are OK. The CHP reported that the 58-year-old driver and the 8-year-old girl in her car suffered only abrasions and complaints of pain. In a prepared statement, CHP officials said their seatbelts "undoubtedly" saved their lives.
Here's the press release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SANTA BARBARA AREA CHP
THREE VEHICLE COLLISION RUNS ONE OF THE VEHICLES OFF THE ROAD AND OVER A CLIFF.
On Wednesday, October 29, 2008, at approx. 0730 hrs, CHP, fire and ambulance personnel received a call of a three vehicle collision, southbound US-101, north of Evans ave.
Responding units arrived on scene to find three vehicles involved with one approximately 100 feet over the edge of a cliff on the west side of the roadway.
Patrick Joerger, 23, of Ventura was driving his 2005 Chevy Express van, southbound US-101, north of Evans Ave. in the left hand #1 lane, at approx. 60-65 mph. A Toyota Highlander (Unk. Year), driven by Etelina Figueroa, 58, of Carpinteria, was southbound US-101, in the left hand #1 lane directly in front of Mr. Joerger's van. A 2002 GMC Sierra, towing a woodchipper, driven by Nicolas Pinedo, 47, of Ventura, was southbound US-101, in the right hand #2 lane, directly next to Mr. Joerger and Ms. Figueroa.
Mr. Joerger's van struck the rear of the Highlander, sending the Highlander out of control. The Highlander crossed the #2 lane and the right shoulder before plummeting over a large cliff, coming to rest on its roof near the railroad tracks. This impact caused Mr. Joerger to lose control of his van and it also crossed into the #2 lane and struck Mr. Pinedo's GMC Sierra. Both vehicles came to rest on the right shoulder of southbound US-101.
Ms. Figueroa and her 8 year-old female passenger were transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital with complaints of pain and abrasions, with Ms. Figueroa being admitted for observation. Both were wearing seatbelts which undoubtedly saved their lives. Mr. Pinedo was also transported to Cottage hospital with complaints of pain, treated and released. Mr. Joerger also sustained minor injuries.
Alcohol/drugs were not a factor in this collision.