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Car crashes into tree in California, 2 injured

Around 6:30 pm on March 15, the driver of a 1997 Chevrolet pickup truck crashed into a tree just off Highway 101 south of San Luis Obispo. Two were critically injured in the crash.

The 32-year-old driver, a resident of Santa Maria, was heading north in the No. 1 lane and had passed San Luis Bay Drive when he suddenly lost control of the truck. He went off the road and traveled down the embankment until the driver's-side door collided with a tree. The driver had a passenger, a 24-year-old woman from San Luis Obispo. Although injured, she had been able to get out of the car, but the driver had to be extricated by emergency crews.

The San Luis Obispo City Fire Department and Cal Fire were both present at the accident. As the scene was being cleaned up, northbound traffic on Highway 101 was reduced to one lane. California Highway Patrol is investigating the cause of the incident but does not suspect that driving under the influence was involved.

In most cases where a single car is involved in a crash, the driver is to blame. There are some possible exceptions, such as when a driver hits an animal or suffers a medical episode. Passengers who are injured in single-car accidents should know that there are laws in place to allow them to seek compensation for their medical bills, pain and suffering, and other applicable amounts. Filing a claim against the driver's auto insurance company can sometimes be a difficult process, so the victims might find it advisable to have an experienced attorney handle the process.

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