Traffic backed up in both directions when four cars tangled Thursday afternoon on Highway 101 near the Marin-Sonoma county line, the California Highway Patrol said.
Although one of the collisions was head-on, just one person was transported to Marin General Hospital with minor injuries, according to the
The first emergency call was made at about 3:55 p.m. after an 81-year-old driver attempted to cross Highway 101's southbound lanes after entering from eastbound San Antonio Road, CHP Officer Eric Hohmeister said. The Jeep Cherokee driven by Elvin Case rolled into the southbound lanes as he tried to find a break in northbound traffic and ended up stopping, blocking the southbound fast lane.
A Chevy Tahoe driven by Gregory Miranda, 48, of Santa Rosa, was heading south on 101 when Case made his move into traffic, and the Chevy broadsided the Jeep, Hohmeister said.
Miranda's damaged Chevy rolled into northbound 101 traffic and collided with a Honda Insight driven by another Santa Rosa driver, Robert Alander, 33. The Chevy kept rolling into the slow lane and collided head-on with a Toyota Corolla drive by Rhiannon Abramson, 41, of Santa Rosa.
Barrett Smith, acting captain with the Novato Fire District, said Abramson had minor injuries and was taken away by ambulance after being found out of her vehicle when crews arrived; three other people were checked and released at the crash site.
Northbound lanes were closed for about 20 minutes. One lane was reopened at 4:54 and the second at 5:30, CHP Officer Peter Van Eckhardt said.
SIG alert was issued at 4:32 p.m., well after the vehicles and debris were cleared from the roadway. Hohmeister said the delay in issuing the alert was because of confusion created when witnesses reported multiple crash locations, including near the Redwood Landfill closer to Novato and Kastania Road closer to Petaluma.
Traffic in both directions was slowed drastically, lasting well into the commute hours.