One deceased after head-on collision on Highway 46 Sunday night
Other driver sustained major injuries
–A head-on collision claimed the life of one San Luis Obispo man and injured a man from Salinas Sunday night, according the California Highway Patrol.
On Sunday night at approximately 8:15 p.m., an 84-year-old San Luis Obispo man was driving a 2010 Chino motorcoach while traveling westbound on State Route 46 East downhill from Antelope Road at an approximate speed of 55 mph. A second driver, Jesus Duarte Lopez of Salinas was driving a Freighlighter truck, traveling eastbound (uphill) approaching the first driver at an approximated speed of 45 mph, towing a trailer loaded with non-perishable goods (pallets of cardboard packages).
At this location, approximately two miles east of the State Route 41/State Route 46 “Wye,” State Route 46 (East) consists of two lanes separated by painted solid double yellow lines. Conditions at the time were cold and it was raining. For unknown reasons, the driver from San Luis Obispo drifted from the westbound lane of travel into the path of travel for Lopez. Lopez reportedly attempted to take evasive action to avoid a collision; however, the vehicles impacted each other left headlight to left headlight.
After the impact, the Freightliner truck tractor rolled off the south roadway edge and came to rest on its roof. The Chino motorcoach rolled to a stop on the north shoulder of the highway.
As both drivers were restrained with their seat belts, neither driver was ejected from their vehicle. Despite the seat belt use and airbag deployment in the motorcoach, the driver from San Luis Obispo succumbed to injuries as a result of the collision and was pronounced deceased at the scene of the collision.
Release of his identification is pending notification of next of kin. Lopez was transported to the Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo where he was admitted for suspected severe injuries.
Alcohol, drugs, and distracted driving do not appear to have been factors in this collision. This collision was not related to the State Route 41/ State Route 46 “Wye,” according to CHP.