CalTrans says the section of Highway 121 is as safe as it can be for an area prone to rock and mudslides. Officials did not speculate whether wet conditions and a fire-scarred landscape contributed to the tragedy.
Highway 121 aka Montecito Road is now open after authorities recovered a driver in a car hit by a tumbling boulder last night.— Wayne Freedman (@WayneFreedman) January 10, 2018
The California Highway Patrol has yet to confirm his identity. #abc7now #napa pic.twitter.com/C8aBQBpv1N
The extrication took several hours this morning. CalFire had been to the scene last night, but when they discovered the driver to be deceased, they left him until sunrise due to worries that more rocks might come down.
A tow truck pulled the car up this morning with the body still inside. Crews then had to work further to remove the victim.
A witness told the CHP that he never had a chance and that he likely could not have seen the boulder coming.
Its path begins high up the slope, left a scar in the road where it landed, and disappeared below the Toyota, which came to rest 100 feet beneath the road.
It's a sad story about a solo driver in the wrong place at the wrong time.