Woman suffered major internal injuries in collision west of New Cuyama

Three people were injured in a five-vehicle accident on Highway 166 west of New Cuyama Thursday.

The highway has seen unusually heavy traffic for the past several days after mudslides and flooding closed a stretch of Highway 101 in Santa Barbara, forcing traffic that normally uses that route to find other ways between the central coast and Southern California.

The California Highway Patrol said one woman suffered major injuries and two other suffered less serious injuries and unsafe passing may have been a factor.

Two other drivers escaped unscathed from the crash.

It took place about 8:30 p.m. on Highway 166 just west of Tepusquet road.

THE CHP said the crash took place as Patrick Hourigan, 55, of Truckee was eastbound on the Highway at approximately 55 miles per hour.

Hourigan made an unsafe passing movement over double yellow lines and failed to see three oncoming vehicles traveling westbound following each other at approximately 50 miles per hour. The left front of Hourigan's vehicle collided with left front of a car driven by Allison Starcher, 53, of Santa Monica.

Hourigan's vehicle continued to travel east colliding with the front three more vehicles.

Starcher suffered major internal injuries including a fractured pelvis and was airlifted from the scene by CalStar to Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara.

Hourigan suffered lacerations to his face and the third injury was to a 52-year-old Fausto Dominguez of Sun City, who suffered arm and wrist lacerations and back pain, the CHP said.
Two other drivers were not injured.

Alcohol and drugs are apparently not factors in the crash, the CHP said.