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August 18, 2022

Photo: Major injuries in Hecker Pass plunge

Emergency officials pull the driver out of a caved-in Honda Civic on Hecker Pass Tuesday. The California Highway Patrol said the 26-year-old male driver, with a male passenger—both of Hollister—were traveling east on Hecker Pass Road (Highway 152) at 2:45pm when the driver lost control. The Honda shot off the right shoulder and barrel-rolled down a 30-foot hill. While the 32-year-old passenger managed to escape without injuries, the driver was trapped. A crew from Cal Fire quickly freed the victim from the car. He was taken to the fairgrounds where a CALSTAR air ambulance picked him up and flew him to trauma center. California Highway Patrol officer Alyssa Gutierrez said the driver was later arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. The incident is still under investigation.

hecker pass road highway crash cal fire california highway patrol calstar helicopter
A CALSTAR air ambulance lifts off from the entrance to the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds Tuesday on its way to an out of county trauma center with the driver of a car that plunged off a cliff on nearby Hecker Pass. Photo: Tarmo Hannula
Tarmo Hannula
Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.

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