No injuries in four-vehicle crash on 152

Gilroy
– A hit-and-run driver caused a crash involving three cars and
one semi-truck, that closed both eastbound lanes of Highway 152 for
nine hours Sunday afternoon and evening.
No one was injured in the accident, but two of the cars and the
semi-truck were badly damaged.
By Lori Stuenkel

Gilroy – A hit-and-run driver caused a crash involving three cars and one semi-truck, that closed both eastbound lanes of Highway 152 for nine hours Sunday afternoon and evening.

No one was injured in the accident, but two of the cars and the semi-truck were badly damaged.

Victor Chavez, 25, of San Jose, who the California Highway Patrol believes caused the crash, fled the scene but was later stopped by CHP officers out of San Jose, said Officer Matt Ramirez of the Gilroy CHP office. He was not arrested, but could face misdemeanor hit-and-run charges for damaging property.

Chavez was driving westbound on Pacheco Pass, about 16 miles east of Gilroy in the right-hand lane about 1:43pm. His 1989 Cadillac was approaching a 2001 Chevy pick-up driven by a 70-year-old Salinas man, also in the same lane, at 64 miles per hour. Chavez moved into the left lane to pass the Chevy, but moved back into the right lane before he was completely past the truck.

The Cadillac struck the pick-up, causing the pick-up to spin and veer across the left lane, through the dirt median, and into oncoming eastbound traffic. A 2001 Ford car in the first lane slammed on the brakes and swerved to the left, avoiding the pick-up, and a semi-truck in the second lane tried to do the same.

The pick-up and semi-truck collided, which caused the pick-up to spin back toward the median, where its right front crashed into the right side of the Ford. The semi-truck overturned onto its right side, blocking both lanes of eastbound Highway 152. The pick-up came to rest facing west in the left-hand eastbound lane, while the Ford stopped in the median divider.

Chavez did not stop at the scene, Ramirez said. The pick-up was totaled, and the car was towed.

Traffic was redirected for nine hours while the semi-truck’s tanker was emptied before it could be towed.

“We’re fortunate that we didn’t have any injuries or fatalities, especially since it involved cars and a big rig,” Ramirez said. “We were unfortunate with the stopped traffic, obviously, on a Sunday when people are trying to get home.”

The CHP will file a complaint with the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, as is usually done with misdemeanor hit-and-runs that do not involve injury, Ramirez said.

There was no concrete divider or steel barrier between the westbound and eastbound lanes at the point on Highway 152 where the crash occurred, Ramirez said. The road is straight in that area and a flat dirt median separates oncoming traffic.

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