A crash that injured three people and shut down the northbound
lanes of Highway 25 for nearly two hours during Tuesday’s commute
may have been caused by a drunken driver.
A crash that injured three people and shut down the northbound lanes of Highway 25 for nearly two hours during Tuesday’s commute may have been caused by a drunken driver.
The California Highway Patrol arrested Kimberly Glassman, 38, of Felton on suspicion of driving under the influence following the 5:50 p.m. accident on Highway 25 about a quarter-mile south of the San Benito-Santa Clara County line.
CHP crash investigators arrested Glassman shortly after the accident Tuesday and released her to Valley Medical Center for treatment for complaint of pain to her chest and side.
Investigators said the accident happened when Glassman was northbound on Highway 25 in a 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser behind a 1999 Ford F-150 pickup driven by Juan Cardenas, 34, of Hollister.
Cardenas was northbound on Highway 25 at about 55 mph when a tractor-trailer rig entered the highway from a private driveway. Cardenas reportedly slowed down to about 5 mph to yield to the big rig.
But Glassman, who had two juvenile passengers ages 1 and 3, reportedly did not see Cardenas’ abrupt slow-down, and her car struck the rear of Cardenas’ pickup at about 40 mph, the CHP said.
The force of the collision crumpled the pickup’s bed and forced it off the highway down a steep 20-foot embankment into a reinforced drainage ditch.
Judith Cardenas, 34, a passenger in the pickup, was taken to Valley Medical Center where she was treated for complaint of pain to her neck, back and legs, the CHP said.
Juan Cardenas was taken by ambulance to Hazel Hawkins Hospital where he was treated for complaint of pain to his neck and back, the CHP said.
After striking the bed of the pickup, the PT Cruiser’s engine burst into flames. A passing motorist stopped and used his emergency fire extinguisher to douse the flames.
The fire did not enter the passenger compartment of Glassman’s car.
The northbound lane of the highway was closed for nearly two hours while emergency crews rendered first aid to the Cardenases at the bottom of the embankment and other firefighters attended to the fiery engine compartment.
Before the wrecked vehicles could be removed from the highway, traffic backed up in both directions of the highway for about two miles, the CHP said.