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October 20, 2021

Two die hours apart in separate Hwy 17 crashes

SCOTTS VALLEY—Two people, including a 28-year-old Santa Cruz man, died in separate Highway 17 crashes mere hours apart.

Around 10pm on Friday night, the Santa Cruz resident involved in a two-vehicle crash near Scotts Valley was ejected from his 2016 Toyota Tacoma after the truck slammed into a car and overturned, California Highway Patrol officer Sam Courtney said. 

The man, who has not yet been identified, was driving north on Hwy 17 north of Mount Hermon Road when he tried to overtake a slower moving Toyota Camry driven by a 22-year-old Oakland man. 

The Tacoma struck the rear of the Camry causing the driver to lose control and spin-out. The Tacoma overturned, and the driver was ejected from the vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene. 

The driver of the Camry was taken to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center for minor injuries, Courtney said.  

Alcohol and/or drugs have not been ruled out as a contributing factor in the crash.

The next morning the CHP reported another fatal crash on Hwy 17 in Los Gatos that forced officials to shut down the southbound lanes for more than eight hours. 

The driver of a septic tanker lost control of the vehicle’s brakes while driving on Black Road beside Hwy 17 at 8:10am, CHP officer Ross Lee said. The tanker plowed through a fence onto Hwy 17 where it smashed into a Mercedes Benz and a pickup in the southbound lanes.

Lee said the male driver of the pickup died at the scene. The tanker driver and the Mercedes driver suffered minor injuries.

Both incidents are still under investigation.

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