Highway closed by oil spill
A woman was killed in a head-on collision on Highway 166 west of New Cuyama early Wednesday that resulted in a fire and a crude oil spill.
The California Highway patrol said the victim's pickup drifted into the path of an oncoming big rig on the highway near Cottonwood Canyon Road just before 2 a.m.
The truck driver was unable to avoid the crash and the two vehicles hit head-on, the CHP said.
The pickup burst into flames after the collision.
The victim, a woman whose identity has not been confirmed, died in the crash.
The truck, a Peterbuilt tractor-trailer combination loaded with crude oil, went off the road and overturned, landing on its side.
The driver, identified by the CHP as Manual Ayala, Jr. 31, of Shafter, was not injured in the accident and was able to crawl out of the wreckage on his own, Santa Barbara County Fire Department spokesman Dave Zaniboni said.
The tank remained intact, according to the California Highway Patrol website, and no oil leaked immediately after the crash.
However, as crews were trying to remove the tanker, a tank ruptured, spilling crude oil on the highway and nearby dirt.
Highway 166 remained closed between Perkins Road in the Cuyama Area and Tepusquet Road east of Santa Maria at midmorning eight hours after the accident.
There is no word on when the cleanup will be completed.