Oil-slicked roads caused several accidents on Highway 18 in Crestline. (Photo: Crestline Courier-News)
Dangerous road conditions caused several spin-outs and two injury accidents Monday afternoon on Highway 18 in Crestline.
• An oil slick covered several areas in a 5-mile stretchof Highway 18 between Lake Gregory Drive and Panorama Point.
• The oil slick caused a vehicle to slide out of control and crash head-on into an oncoming vehicle. One of the drivers suffered major injuries and had to be airlifted via helicopter to a hospital.
• Another car hit the oil slick and rolled over before crashing into the side of the mountain.
• Officials closed the highway for five hours to clear the accident scene and clean up the oil slick.
The first car accident occurred around 5:12 p.m., according to an article in the Crestline Courier-News.
The California Highway Patrol said that 29-year-old Jerry Ward of Crestline was driving a 1982 Subaru Brat downhill on Highway 18 when his vehicle hit an oil slick on the road.
The Subaru slid out of control and crossed into the oncoming traffic lane, where it crashed head-on into a 2005 Honda Element driven by 47-year-old Ronald Fuller of Lake Arrowhead.
Ward suffered major injuries. Crest Forest Fire emergency crews responded to the scene and airlifted the victim via helicopter to Loma Linda University Medical Center, about 23 miles away.
Fuller suffered minor injuries. He was treated and released.
The second injury accident happened about 15 minutes later. In that single-vehicle crash, 20-year-old Ardany Alonzo of Twin Peaks drove into the oil slick and lost control of his 1991 Honda Accord, the CHP said. The Honda slid, rolled over, and crashed into the side of the mountain. The car came to rest on its roof.
Alonzo sustained minor injuries. He was treated and released, the CHP said.
CHP officers also saw a number of skid marks in the oil slick area, indicating other accidents had taken place there. The slick was spread along a five-mile stretch of the highway, south of Lake Gregory Drive.
“We suspect something leaked from a vehicle, some sort of a waxy, oily substance that covered several locations of the road and turnouts,” said Caltrans spokesperson Terri Kasinga.
Caltrans officials closed that stretch of the highway for nearly five hours while emergency crews cleared the accident scenes and cleaned the oil slick. They applied absorbent material to the spills and then swept up the material after it soaked up the oil. The highway was reopened at around 10 p.m., the CHP said.
The cause of the oil slick is under investigation.
Dangerous Road Conditions
Road hazards, including oil slicks, can lead to a variety of motor vehicle accidents and injuries. Dangerous road conditions can be caused by:
- potholes, broken or uneven pavement, or cracked or buckling asphalt
- inadequate or improper speed limits based on road design or traffic patterns
- defective, malfunctioning or poorly designed road signs or markings, including lane markers
- poor drainage, resulting in flooding or slippery road surfaces
- lack of warning of steep inclines, sharp curves or blind entrances
- construction debris
- oil slicks and fuel spills
Crestline Car Accident Lawyers
The trial attorneys at Blackman Legal Group, a California-based law firm founded by renowned trial attorney Clifford Blackman, have successfully represented car accident victims and their families for 35 years. The nationwide toll-free number to call for a free consultation is 1-866-692-8126.