Traffic on Highway 101 in southern Mendocino County Tuesday morning remained blocked two hours after a big rig hauling pressed grapes tangled with a pickup towing a camp trailer, according to initial reports.
Two people from the mangled pickup were taken to hospitals.
Calls to the CHP started about 10:20 a.m., reporting the crash in southbound lanes near Center Street in Hopland, just north of Cloverdale.
Traffic backed up for miles in both directions as emergency crews worked to cut free the driver and passenger from the pickup, which had collided with the side of the rig. The big rig driver was able to get out on his own, according to initial reports.
Firefighters from Hopland and Ukiah Valley Fire responded, as well as a medical helicopter, which landed on the highway to take the female passenger. The male driver was transported by ambulance to a Ukiah hospital and was believed to have moderate injuries.
Hopland fire Capt. Ron Roysun said the extrications took extensive effort and several tools, especially to clear the woman trapped by the crumpled truck.
Adding to the scene, the big rig’s load of grape pomace spilled to the side of the highway.
What led to the crash remained under investigation but initial reports indicated the big rig had been northbound and then was changing to southbound lanes when it collided with the southbound pickup.
Officials funneled traffic around the crash, alternating drivers from each direction along northbound lanes.
The southbound lanes were opened just before 1 p.m.
Check back for details.
You can reach Staff Writer Randi Rossmann at 707‑521-5412 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter@rossmannreport.