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Major Injury Collision
updated: Feb 02, 2014, 9:15 AM

Source: Santa Barbara CHP

On January 31st, 2014, at approximately 0605 hours, a series of traffic collisions ensued on US-101 northbound, just south of the Junipero Street Pedestrian overcrossing (O/C). The first collision involved a driver under the influence of alcohol, later identified as Mr. Joseph A. Scozzaro, who drove his vehicle in the wrong direction on US-101 northbound, directly toward on-coming traffic in his 1987 Volkswagen. Mrs. Yesenia G.Vidal drove her 2007 Nissan on US-101 northbound, from the Mission Street on-ramp when she noticed headlights approaching directly in front of her. Mrs. Vidal turned her Nissan to the right to avoid colliding with Mr. Scozzaro, and subsequently collided with the metal guardrail along the right shoulder. Mr. Scozarro drove his Volkswagen directly toward the front of a 1997 Acura, which was being driven by Mr. David V. Nguyen. Mr. Scozarro and Mr. Nguyen collided head-on in the middle lane. The vehicles eventually came to rest perpendicular to approaching traffic with the Volkswagen partially blocked the middle lane and left lane and the Acura partially blocked the middle lane and right lane. The Volkswagen and Acura were both stopped without lights during hours of darkness in the middle of the freeway. Mr. Scozzaro sustained serious injuries, Mr. Nguyen sustained moderate injuries, and Mrs. Vidal sustained minor injuries, all as a result of the collisions.

Mr. Wayne R. Mantooth of Norwalk, California was traveling on US-101 northbound approaching the Junipero Street Pedestrian O/C and was unable to react in time to avoid the Acura, which was disabled directly ahead of him. The front of his vehicle struck the disabled Acura broadside. Mr. Mantooth sustained minor injuries as a result to this collision.

Mr. Sergio M. Figueroa of Santa Barbara, California was also traveling on US-101 northbound approaching the Junipero Street Pedestrian O/C, behind Mr. Mantooth's Chevrolet. Mr. Figueroa was unable to react to the collision occurring directly in front of him, and struck the rear of the Chevrolet with the front of his truck. After Mr. Figueroa struck the rear of the Chevrolet, his truck continued toward the disabled Volkswagen. The front of his truck struck the Volkswagen broadside and also became disabled in the middle of the freeway. Mr. Figueroa sustained serious injuries as a result of this collision.

Two separate collisions occurred, which involved five people and five vehicles. Four people were hospitalized and Mr. Scozarro was arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of Alcohol.


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