Two drivers were taken to area hospitals with injuries Monday afternoon following a crash on Telephone Road between Prell and Betteravia roads, east of Santa Maria.
At about 3:30 p.m., police and fire officials were called to the scene of the crash that involved a Mercedes sedan and a Chevrolet SUV. CALSTAR, in addition to American Medical Response ambulances, also responded to the collision.
Telephone Road was closed in the area to create a safe landing zone for the helicopter and allow for investigators to examine the scene. The road was reopened just before 5 p.m.
According to California Highway Patrol officials, the driver of the Mercedes sedan was traveling northbound on Telephone Road at a high rate of speed as it approached a long line of cars waiting to turn on to Betteravia Road
As the driver neared the line of cars, he swerved right, off the roadway, in his attempt to make a U-turn. When the driver crossed into the soutbound lane of Telephone Road, the Mercedes collided with a Chevrolet SUV that had just turned onto Telephone Road from Betteravia Road.
After the collision, the Mercedes continued to move in a westerly direction before coming to a stop off the roadway into an agricultural field next to Telephone Road.
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“The driver [of the Mercedes] must have been unconscious," CHP Officer David Medina said. "After the crash, he was in and out of consciousness and was flown to Santa Barbara Cottage hospital for undermined injuries.”
Medina added, “It seems he wasn’t paying attention with stopped traffic ahead.”
The Chevrolet continued easterly and came to rest in a ditch along the roadway. The female driver of the SUV was taken by ambulance to Marian Regional Medical where she was evaluated, according to Medina.
Medina said the crash could have resulted in a fatality had there been a passenger in the right-front seat of the Mercedes. As it was, the two female passengers in the back seat were uninjured.
CHP officials said the investigation into the crash is ongoing and has not determined if drugs or alcohol were involved in the collision.