SANTA CRUZ COUNTY (CBS SF) — A fatal accident involving 11 cars and a big rig shut down all lanes of North Highway 17 between Summit and Bear Creek roads and one southbound lane Thursday morning.

The California Highway Patrol called it a  “very graphic, horrific scene …. like a war zone,” after at least eight are people injured and one person is dead in the wreckage strewn across an eighth of a mile.

CHP said the driver of a big rig pulling a double load of sand lost control while going northbound on Highway 17 causing a chain reaction crash before jumping the guardrail and ending up on Old Santa Cruz Highway frontage road.

Three of the vehicles were damaged so badly that they trapped people inside.

Deadly Big Rig Accident Shuts Down NB Hwy 17 In Santa Cruz Mountains


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The crash was reported at about 7:50 a.m., and CHP issued a Sig-alert at 8:16 a.m.

CHP called at least five ambulances and a life flight helicopter to the scene.

Northbound traffic is being turned around at Summit Road, and state Highway 9 is being used as alternative to Highway 17, CHP said.

The northbound lanes of Highway 17 will remain closed until about 5 p.m.


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