Four police officers suffered minor injuries Wednesday night when two California Highway Patrol cars collided on Route 217.
The two CHP patrol units were chasing a Volkswagen Golf they had seen peeling out of an In-N-Out Burger parking lot on Calle Real. An In-N-Out employee reported he “believed the VW had struck a pole in the parking lot,” according to the CHP’s report.
Both CHP units attempted to catch the car as it traveled northbound on U.S. Highway 101 and then transferred to the southbound 217 toward UCSB. Police say the first unit activated its lights and sirens for a traffic stop, just after the Volkswagen crossed the 101 overpass.
The Volkswagen decelerated rapidly and moved over to the right-hand lane. Police say the second CHP unit, which was trying to catch up with the first, overtook both the fist unit and the Volkswagen.
While trying to avoid the first unit, the second unit swerved left, but struck the left-hand rear of the first CHP car.
The first car spun in a circle and came to rest in the right shoulder just north of the Hollister off-ramp. Police say the second unit “skidded across the traffic lanes and struck the concrete center divider wall.”
Officers determined the driver of the Volkswagen, which was not damaged in the crash, had not caused the crash.
Santa Barbara County Fire Dept. Engine 12 responded to the accident, where the officers were “yellow tagged” for moderate injuries and were then taken to Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital, a fire department spokesman said.
All four officers were treated and released. The CHP is still investigating the incident, which closed Highway 217 for an hour and a half.