Hit-and-run crash on Highway 46 leaves one in critical condition
CHP investigates collision near Shandon Rest Area exit
– A hit-and-run collision occurred early Friday morning at approximately 5:10 a.m. on Highway 46 near the Shandon Rest Area, leaving one person in critical condition, according to a press release from the California Highway Patrol (CHP).
The incident involved 33-year-old George Pitman of Bolinas Calif., who was operating a 2018 Nissan NV2500 transit van eastbound on Highway 46. At the time, heavy fog in the area reportedly significantly reduced visibility from McMillan Canyon past the Shandon Rest Area. As Pitman approached the rest area, an unknown driver operating a commercial truck tractor and trailer combination pulled out from the rest area, crossing the eastbound lanes of State Route 46 and directly into the path of Pitman.
Unable to avoid a collision, Pitman struck the left-rear of the trailer, resulting in major damage to the Nissan van. Following the impact, the van rotated over 270 degrees and came to rest within the intersection. The driver of the truck and trailer fled the scene in a westbound direction on Highway 46.
Emergency crews responded to the scene and found Pitman trapped within the Nissan with major injuries. He was subsequently airlifted to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo, where he was admitted with a broken femur and severe head trauma. As of the latest information release, Pitman is listed in critical condition.
The CHP is currently investigating the incident, and it remains unknown whether the truck driver stopped before exiting the rest area. Additionally, it is unclear if the truck driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs or distracted by electronic devices.
Witnesses to the crash or individuals with information about the truck and/or trailer are urged to contact the Templeton CHP at (805) 400-6720 during business hours or the CHP San Luis Obispo Communications Center at (805) 593-3333 after hours. Inquiries should be directed to Officer Lamar or the Templeton Crash Investigation Officer. The suspect truck and trailer are believed to have sustained significant damage to the left side and left rear corner, fleeing the scene westbound on Highway 46.