Fatal accident causes severe delays

An accident Northbound on US 101 backed up traffic for several hours

A traffic accident on U.S. 101 in Gilroy resulted in the death of a 57-year-old man and injuries to three others in heavy morning commuter traffic on Monday, Aug. 13.

The three-vehicle accident occurred at 7:55am on U.S. 101 northbound, just south of the Old Monterey Road exit and the intersection of Highway 25, according to Officer Chris Miceli of the California Highway Patrol. As of Monday evening, authorities had not released the identity of the man who died in the collision.

A 2012 Ford van driven by a 33-year-old Castroville man was traveling north on the freeway, just south of Old Monterey Road at an unknown rate of speed, according to police. As the van approached the rear of a 2018 Peterbilt semi-truck, driven by a 59-year-old Salinas man, the van driver apparently failed to notice the slower, larger vehicle ahead.

The right front of the Ford van collided with the left rear of the Peterbilt’s trailer, authorities said. The force of this impact caused the van to travel into the adjacent northbound lane. The van then collided with a 2005 Ford Explorer, driven by a 35-year-old Salinas man.

When the van struck the semi-truck, the van’s right front passenger suffered fatal injuries, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver and another passenger of the Ford van—a 34-year-old Castroville man—were transported to San Jose Regional Hospital with minor injuries. The driver of the semi-truck was transported to the same hospital, also with minor injuries.

The driver of the Ford Explorer was not injured, according to police.

Neither alcohol or drugs are suspected in the collision, according to authorities.

U.S. 101 northbound was closed in both directions for about two hours due to the collision and investigation, backing up traffic in both directions for several miles. The accident also snarled the morning commuter traffic along 156 from as far away as Watsonville to Hollister, and stalled commuter traffic on Highway 25 north of Hollister.

Anyone who witnessed the Aug. 13 collision can contact CHP Officer Brandon Dias at (408) 848-2324.

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