The six people involved in a three-vehicle crash Thursday on Highway 1 in the Lompoc Valley - all escaped the wreckage with only minor complaints of pain - have been identified by the California Highway Patrol.

Brittany Kowalewski, 18, and her 17-year-old passenger, whose name was not released, attempted to make a left onto Highway 1 from Santa Lucia Road in a 1999 Chevrolet Suburban just after noon on Thursday, the CHP said. Both are from Lompoc.

Kowalewski "committed a right-of-way violation" as she pulled out directly into the path of two southbound vehicles in the area between Vandenberg Air Force Base and Vandenberg Village, according to CHP officials.

Edwin Echols, 46, of Santa Maria, was driving with his passenger, Joseph Kaplan, 44, of Vandenberg Air Force Base, in a 1991 Mitsubishi Montero.

Echols braked hard, but could not avoid hitting Kowalewski, rolling the Suburban onto its side in one of the northbound Highway 1 lanes, officials said.

The impact of the collision caused both SUVs to overturn.

Echols and Kaplan were struck by Angela Stewart, 42, of Lompoc, driving a 2010 Mercedes, with her passenger Suzanne Frederick, 43, of Lompoc.

The occupants of the Suburban were removed from the vehicle by county fire crews, using the Jaws of Life.

The victims were transported to Lompoc Valley Medical Center by ground ambulance, but all involved had only minor complaints of pain, the CHP reported.

The multi-vehicle collision caused partial lane closures for both northbound and southbound traffic for about one hour, CHP officials said.

(1) comment


C'mon Santa Maria Times. Are you so lacking of news stories you have to write puff pieces like this? We already knew there was an accident, so what's the point of this story? Do you really need to release the names of everybody involved? Maybe if your writers spent more time following the going-ons of the SMPD you could have a TON of crime stories to write.

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