Traffic on northbound Highway 101 in Santa Rosa was snarled Monday by a series of crashes and a SUV that hit a tow truck, flipped and landed on top of a car, CHP officials said.

Although trapped, the driver in the crushed car suffered only minor injuries, Officer Jon Sloat said.

The first two cars crashed at about 12:25 p.m. on the shoulder of the Steele Lane offramp, followed by a second crash just ahead, causing significant backups, Sloat said.

As a tow truck loaded up a Chevrolet Tahoe, an approaching Chevrolet Silverado driven by Anthony Lore, 53, of San Lorenzo swerved to the right, sending its right wheels up the tow ramp, Sloat said.

Lore's pickup flipped and landed on top of a Saturn sedan. Crews extricated the car's driver, Brian Bonham, 25, of Cotati, who suffered minor injuries, Sloat said. Lore was uninjured, he said.

Two lanes of the highway were blocked for about 45 minutes.