Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian A tow truck operator cleans up the scene of a solo vehicle crash where a man died Wednesday afternoon on Riverside Drive at Rodriguez Street.

A Watsonville man was killed Wednesday when his vehicle struck a metal street light pole on Riverside Drive at Rodriguez Street at 5:09pm.

The man, 54, who has not been named, died as he was flown away from the scene by CALSTAR air ambulance to an out-of-county trauma center, emergency officials said.

Watsonville Police spokeswoman Michelle Pulido said no other vehicles were involved. 

The man was driving an early-model Chevrolet El Camino,  westbound on Riverside Drive when he veered off the pavement while crossing the intersection with Rodriguez Street for unknown reasons and slammed into the towering pole. The impact left the El Camino with major front-end damage and a smashed windshield. 

It was unclear whether drugs or alcohol were involved in the crash. The incident is still under investigation.

Pulido added that in order to complete their investigation, WPD traffic officers will close down westbound Riverside Drive between Main and First streets Saturday between 6am and noon.

“We ask drivers to avoid this section of Riverside Drive and to use alternate routes during that time,” Pulido said.

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General assignment reporter, covering nearly every beat. I specialize in feature stories, but equally skilled in hard and spot news. Pajaronian/Good Times/Press Banner reporter honored by CSBA. https://pajaronian.com/r-p-reporter-honored-by-csba/


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