Driver, two children injured in flaming wreckage of Highway 101
A driver and two young passengers were seriously injured in a flaming wreckage that closed part of Highway 101 in San Rafael on Wednesday.
The adult driver and his two children were heading north in an SUV on Freeway 101 near the St. Vincent Drive exit at around 8:20 a.m. when the SUV skidded for unknown reasons, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The SUV struck the center ditch, sending the vehicle back across the freeway, where it collided with another car before turning off the right shoulder, rolling down a steep embankment and catching fire, CHP officer Andrew Barclay said.
ON ABC7 ONLY – This dash cam video shows a Toyota SUV hitting the center divider, spinning another car and crossing the New Brunswick lanes of Highway 101 in San Rafael this morning. The SUV caught fire in a grassy ditch, where commuters pulled up to rescue the driver and her 2 young children. pic.twitter.com/xnryFyNw1t
– Kate Larsen (@ KateABC7) September 19, 2019
Firefighters from Novato and Marinwood were called in to help. The fire was quickly put out, Barclay said.
“We responded to a vehicle incident, the car caught fire and three people were treated and transported to area hospitals with injuries,” Novato Fire Captain Don Fletcher said.
The driver and her two children, believed to be a 3-year-old boy and a 6-year-old girl, were rescued from the burning car by passers-by who stopped to help, Barclay said.
“Three Good Samaritans stopped and took the mother and two children out,” Barclay said.
Ambulances transported one child to MarinHealth Medical Center and the other to the University of California at San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland. The child taken to MarinHealth was then airlifted to Oakland Hospital for treatment. The injuries to both children have been described as life threatening, Barclay said.
CHP Officer Andrew Barclay gives updates on the wreckage scene on Highway 101 near the St. Vincent’s Drive exit in San Rafael earlier this morning. pic.twitter.com/6cQ51hJLRH
– Marin IJ (@marinij) September 18, 2019
A medically equipped CHP helicopter airlifted the driver to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, Barclay said.
It is not known whether the driver or the children were wearing restraints.
The driver of the other vehicle that was hit in the back was not injured, Barclay said.
Taxiing almost came to a standstill for much of the morning as two right-hand lanes remained closed northbound near the St. Vincent Drive / Miller Creek Road exit. The tracks were reopened around 11 a.m.