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Crash snarls Highway 101 traffic in Petaluma

Traffic on Highway 101 near Petaluma turned into a parking lot for about 90 minutes Monday after a car flipped onto its side near the Petaluma River bridge.

At about 1:40 p.m., motorists reported the northbound car had traveled onto the embankment and crashed, the CHP said.

The driver, Einar Garcia, 21, of San Leandro, was uninjured, CHP Officer David Spencer said.

"He is really lucky," Spencer said.

Garcia apparently let the 2000 Volkswagon Jetta drift off the road, hit the embankment and launched about 10 feet into the air before crashing onto the roadside hill, Spencer said.

Glass on the road and the wrecked vehicle blocked the right lane of traffic initially.

Then traffic backed up quickly from Petaluma southward about six miles into Marin County as emergency vehicles responded.

A second lane was shut to allow the wrecked vehicle to be righted and towed away, Sgt. John Evans said.

The crash scene was cleared by 3 p.m. and traffic began thinning out, the CHP said.


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