CHP Officers Intentionally Crash Into Wrong-Way Driver on Highway 101 to Prevent Injuries

CHP officers intentionally crashed into a wrong-way driver on Highway 101 to prevent possible collisions and injuries on January 11, 2024 (Photo: CHP)

On January 11, 2024, at approximately 2:06 a.m., California Highway Patrol Santa Barbara Area units received calls of a wrong-way driver headed southbound in the northbound lanes of US-101 northbound, near El Capitan State Beach.

Two CHP units positioned themselves in the #1 and #2 lanes of US-101 northbound, south of Dos Pueblos, with emergency lights and sirens activated. The wrong-way driver made no effort to stop and passed by them.

A third CHP unit attempted to stop the wrong way-driver by utilizing the patrol vehicle emergency lights and sirens but was unsuccessful.  A fourth CHP unit activated their emergency lights and sirens, and  positioned themselves on US-101 northbound, north of Cathedral Oaks in the #2 lane.

As the wrong-way vehicle approached, the CHP officer turned the patrol vehicle and intentionally rammed the wrong way vehicle in order to prevent the vehicle from continuing wrong-way.  This action potentially saved the motoring public from possible injuries and/or death.

The driver of the 2019 Toyota was an elderly female, Maria Hernández (born in 1938). She was transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for complaint of pain to her chest.

Alcohol and/or drugs are not a factor in the incident. All involved CHP personnel were uninjured.

[Hernández is from Inglewood, CA and is charged with 21651(b), driving on the wrong side of the road, a misdeameanor.]


Written by CHP

Press releases written by the California Highway Patrol (CHP)

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