Despite heavy rain Wednesday, the Santa Barbara County Fire Dept. reported relatively few vehicle accidents on the roadway.
A two-vehicle accident in Gaviota left two people in critical condition and two people with minor injuries. Another accident occurred near the Nojoqui Grade leading to the Santa Ynez Valley. At least three vehicles were involved in the accident, which left two people with minor injuries. One of the passengers was trapped in a car that had overturned.
Fire Capt. Mike Schlags said the fire crew that responded to the accident used the Jaws of Life to free the trapped man.
“The guy was wearing a seat belt, but he was hanging upside down,” Schlags said. “We had to remove the door, so we had some room to pull him out.”
The accidents were caused by the rain and slick roadways, Schlags said. Hydroplaning is a major problem in rainy weather.
“Once you start hydroplaning, there’s nothing you can do about it,” Schlags said. “The only way to deal with it is to slow down. It’s not worth dying for.”
Fire Capt. Charlie Johnson also said the only way to avoid an accident on slippery roads is to slow down.
“Our goal today has been to encourage motorists to slow, slow, slow down,” Johnson said. “The people in this county drive way too fast.”