‘Lucky to be alive’

A local woman sustained moderate injuries in an accident Tuesday
when a big rig reportedly ran a red light at the intersection of
highways 156 and 25.
The woman, whose name and age were not available by press time
this morning, was taken by ambulance to Hazel Hawkins Hospital
where she was treated for possible head and neck injuries, the
California Highway Patrol said.
A local woman sustained moderate injuries in an accident Tuesday when a big rig reportedly ran a red light at the intersection of highways 156 and 25.

The woman, whose name and age were not available by press time this morning, was taken by ambulance to Hazel Hawkins Hospital where she was treated for possible head and neck injuries, the California Highway Patrol said.

The woman was listed in good condition and was expected to be released from the hospital by this morning, hospital officials said.

The 3:02 p.m. accident happened when the local woman, who was driving a silver Toyota 4-Runner, was waiting for a traffic signal while in the northbound lane of Highway 25.

When the signal turned green, she slowly drove into the intersection, the CHP said.

As the woman was driving across the intersection, an eastbound International tractor-trailer rig driven by an unidentified trucker, ran through a red light and struck the Toyota, narrowly avoiding a head-on collision, the CHP said.

However, the big rig’s trailer section struck the front driver’s side of the Toyota dragging it out of the intersection.

The force of the collision spun the 4-Runner around a complete 360 degrees, ripping the metal off of the entire left side, and sent it crashing into a blue Chevrolet pickup truck causing minor damage, the CHP said.

San Benito County firefighters and paramedics rushed to the scene to free the woman from the wreckage and transport her to the hospital for treatment.

Vincent Bainter of Hollister, a witness to the accident, said the driver of the Toyota is fortunate.

“She’s very lucky to be alive,” Bainter said. “From where she was, you can’t see the truck running the red light.”

He said it was a momentary delay on the woman’s part that saved her life.

“If she had not hesitated before entering the intersection, she would have been killed,” he said.

The exact cause of the accident is still under investigation, the CHP said.

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