BUELLTON, CA – A harrowing semi truck accident happened on January 12, 2012 in Buellton, CA where an 18 wheeler crashed into a BMW while crossing a bridge over a ravine, sending the big rig plunging in flames into the creek below and leaving a family trapped in their vehicle dangling perilously over the edge of the bridge.
Buellton is located in Santa Barbara County, California on the Pacific coast in the south west part of the state about 345 miles southeast of Santa Rosa, 280 miles southeast of San Leandro, 189 miles southeast of Salinas and 43 miles northwest of Santa Barbara.
Buellton, which is more well known for its split pea soup, was the scene of a dramatic rescue to save the lives of a San Juan Capistrano, CA family that was trapped in their car that was dangling over the edge of the bridge.
The accident happened around 2:40 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2012 in the the 101 freeway in Buellton, CA on a bridge over a creek about .7 of a mile south of Santa Rosa Rd.
The BMW was traveling northbound on U.S. 101 in the left lane and was struck by an 18 wheeler that came up on the right. The crash pushed the BMW through the concrete railing and the big rig went over the edge into the creek below, then burst into flames.
The occupants of the car were a 36 year-old mother, her 10 year-old daughter and 10-week old infant. Unfortunately, the truck driver perished in the accident, his tractor-trailer fully engulfed in flames in the creek bed below.
The accident damaged the bridges in both directions of traffic. A group of Navy Seabees happened to be stuck in traffic on the southbound side. The Seabees sprung into action and used a forklift to support the car and keep it from falling and allow rescue personnel to safely extract the occupants.
An article in the Keyt.com website reported on the story:
Santa Barbara County Firefighters, with an eight engine response team, arrived on scene to find a big rig truck fully engulfed in flames at the bottom of a creek. Kelli Groves, 36, her daughter 10-year old Sage and 10-week-old infant, Milo, all of San Juan Capistrano, were trapped inside their BMW, dangling off the side of a bridge
The big rig driver, who died at the scene, was identified as Charles Arthur Allison Jr., 48 years old, from Grover Beach, CA. The occupants of the BMW were Kelli Groves, 36 years old, her daughter Sage, 10 years old and her 10-week-old baby, Milo.
They were transported to a hospital in Santa Barbara, where they were reported to have “sustained broken bones and moderate injuries.” No other details are available as to their injuries or their condition.
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) closed down 101 traffic in both directions until the rescue was complete and the accident scene was cleared.
It was reported that about 50 gallons of diesel fuel was spilled into the creek below. Hazmat personnel were called in to deal with the hazardous materials.
The cause of the accident is not known at this time but is currently under investigation. Investigators do not know why the big rig lost control and swerved into the BMW, crashed through the concrete rail and plunged 50 feet into the creek below.
Truck Accidents 360 is a truck accident lawyer news blog that reports on up to date truck accidents, bus accidents, truck accident attorneys and legal news across the United States. Find out more information about California truck accident lawyers.