Distracted Driver Causes Three-Car Crash on Hwy 1

Traffic was super slow Thursday morning due to a man who was fiddling with his radio and caused a crash.

A 26-year-old Santa Cruz man's preoccupation with his radio ultimately sent him via medical helicopter to a Bay Area trauma center on Thursday morning. 

At 7:52 a.m., the man was driving his 1991 black pick-up truck northbound on Highway 1 just south of Mar Monte Boulevard. He looked down at his radio and didn't see that traffic had slowed in front of him, sending him slamming into a box van driven by a 56-year-old Watsonville man.

According to CHP Officer Sarah Jackson, the box van was pushed into the left lane where it hit a 1999 Chevrolet pick-up truck driven by a 36-year-old Watsonville woman, which was forced into the guard rail.

The distracted driver's truck rolled with the driver inside, coming to a stop in the left lane. He was flown to a hospital with unknown injuries. The two other drivers were uninjured, Jackson said but a tow truck had to be called to remove the van, which was inoperable. 

The road was cleared by 8:43, Jackson said. 

"It was a horrible time to have a lane blocked in rush hour traffic," Jackson said. "We do try to get the road cleared as fast as possible, however when there are significant injuries, that has to take priority. We also had to wait for the tow truck, which is stuck in the same traffic as everyone else."

When it comes to distracted driving, Jackson said many people think only of cell phone use and not the radio.

"It's still taking your eyes off the road, which is always dangerous," she said.

Unclefrench Frie February 21, 2013 at 07:46 PM
Can't people just fvcking drive? Put everything the fvck down and just drive.
Mona Ramirez February 21, 2013 at 08:19 PM
God is great! I was the car directly in front of the accident and watched it happen through my rear view mirror! I'm glad nobody was killed or seriously hurt, but this is a reminder that it could have been me. I have driven Highway 1 from Watsonville to Santa Cruz for over 14 years and have seen a lot of accidents that could have easily been avoided! What it really comes down to is........Pay attention and don't take your eyes off the road, myself included!
Angela Elmore- Gallardo February 21, 2013 at 10:01 PM
Nicely said- I agree!!!!
David H. Perez February 23, 2013 at 01:15 AM
This is why I have always said that distracted drivers should be treated the same as drunk drivers, since studies have shown distracted drivers are as dangerous, or maybe more dangerous, than drunk drivers. Here is an interesting article: http://negligentdriving.com/distracted.cfm
Cathy P. February 23, 2013 at 04:24 PM
I'd like to know how fast this driver was going and how long he was fiddling with his radio. You'd have to take your eyes off the road for 30 seconds or more not see traffic slowing or stopped in front of you. It's an easy mistake I know but I'm glad no one was seriously hurt...


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