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Suspected DUI crash, fuel spill near Laytonville closes Highway 101 for hours

An alleged drunk driver crashed into a semi-trailer truck Monday morning on Highway 101 north of Laytonville, stopping traffic on the road in both directions for two-and-a-half hours, authorities said.

Gerald Stillwell, 58, of Garberville, drove his Ford pickup across the center line of the highway at 11:05 a.m. and collided head-on into the northbound truck, driven by Gary Fischer, 63, of Fair Oaks, the CHP said. Fischer was taken to Howard Memorial Hospital with major injuries; Stillwell was unharmed.

The truck’s saddle-mounted fuel tanks were damaged in the crash, leaking 75 gallons of diesel gas onto the road, the California Highway Patrol said.

The highway remained closed as crews cleaned up the spill. During the investigation, officers found that Stillwell had been drinking prior to the collision and arrested him on a complaint of driving under the influence of alcohol, the CHP said.

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