PASO ROBLES — A 67-year-old San Luis Obispo man died in a four-vehicle pileup Monday night, Oct. 26, on Highway 101 south of Paso Robles.
The man’s name was not released pending notification of family, according to the California Highway Patrol.
At approximately 6:52 p.m. Monday, a lane closure was in place for the southbound No. 2 lane of Highway 101 at the Highway 46 West offramp in Paso Robles for road repairs.
A CHP unit was at the closure when a 2009 Chevrolet Silverado, driven by Cahleigh Martin, 22, of Templeton, was in the southbound No. 2 lane of Highway 101 south of Spring Street at a speed of 60-65 mph.
Martin reported looking over her shoulder to clear and confirm it was safe to merge into the No. 1 lane and made the lane change. When she looked back in front of her, she saw traffic was stopped about 50 feet in front of her vehicle.
She was unable to stop and rear-ended a 2018 GMC Terrain, driven by the 67-year-old man, stopped in front of her. Due to the impact, the man sustained fatal injuries. Martin reported a minor injury.
The Terrain was pushed into a 2001 Toyota Avalon, driven by Louie Bellen, 35, of Camarillo. He was not injured. The Avalon was pushed into a stopped 2016 Chevrolet Trax, driven by Ralph Buckner, 69, of Fountain Valley, who was also not injured.
The collision was north of the actual closure and north of where the repair work was taking place. Martin was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs and distracted driving did not appear immediately to have been a factor in the crash, CHP reported.
A detour for southbound Highway 101 traffic was established through Paso Robles, using Vine Street to Highway 46 West, where traffic reentered the freeway.