Ben Lomond Driver Snarls Hwy 1 Traffic

Even fender benders can back up traffic for miles, especially in rush hour.

If you were wondering why traffic was so atrocious on Highway 1 Thursday morning, we've got an answer for you.

It wasn't just the crash near Aptos caused by a distracted driver backing things up. A Ben Lomond man driving south on the highway just north of the Soquel Drive exit made matters even worse.

At 7:54 a.m., two minutes after the Mar Monte crash, the 19-year-old Ben Lomond man failed to notice that traffic had slowed and crashed his Jeep Wrangler into a Jeep Cherokee driven by a 28-year-old Salt Lake City woman.

According to CHP Officer Sarah Jackson, the Cherokee was then pushed into a BMW sedan driven by a 63-year-old woman from Palm Desert. 

The cars blocked traffic throughout the next hour as the scene was cleared. No one suffered major injuries, but Jackson said that the Palm Desert woman was minorly injured in the crash.

Jackson couldn't confirm that the Ben Lomond driver was distracted by something (possible a cell phone or his radio) at the time of the crash, but she said clearly his eyes were not on the cars he hit.

"If you don't see traffic stopped in front of you, clearly you're looking somewhere you shouldn't be," she said.

Mary Smith February 21, 2013 at 11:24 PM
We see drivers all the time who are CLEARLY texting, or otherwise screwing with their cell phones while driving. No one drives THAT stupidly if they're looking where they're going! I almost got hit head-on by a woman who swerved across the yellow line. I barely had the time OR the room to get out of the way! Scared the crap out of me! Clearly, this person was NOT looking where she was going! No doubt in my mind she was texting because she SURE was NOT watching where she was going!! Probably a good guess that the 19-yr-old Ben Lomond man from this morning was looking at his phone. Do you think he has learned a lesson?


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