Late-night car accidents hospitalize five

Two late-night accidents on U.S. Highway 101 this weekend sent at least five people to the hospital.

The first accident occurred around 1:50 a.m. Saturday morning just south of Whipple Avenue, when a southbound 1998 Toyota Camry with four occupants drove off the side of the highway, said California Highway Patrol Officer Peter Van Eckhardt.

The vehicle ran through about 50 feet of fence and five posts on the shoulder, before reaching the highway’s frontage road, flipping over and catching fire, he said.

At least one of the occupants may have been ejected from the vehicle during the accident, but all four managed to escape the car before it caught fire, Van Eckhardt said. All four were transported to Stanford Medical Center, and at least one was unconscious at that time, he said.

Redwood City Fire Department Battalion Chief Richard Kelliher said fire crews responded to the accident and found much of the vehicle engulfed in flames, but managed to extinguish the fire quickly.

Neither Van Eckhardt nor Kelliher knew the current status of the victims, but Van Eckhardt said the CHP officers who responded believed the injuries were not fatal.

The second Redwood City accident occurred Sunday morning around 2:15 a.m., Van Eckhardt said.

It began with a solo-vehicle accident, when a 2005 Toyota Scion hit the center divider, spun out and finally came to a stop in the middle of the freeway.

The car was then hit by a second and third vehicle as oncoming traffic tried to swerve out of the way, Van Eckhardt said.

The driver of the Scion was transported to Stanford Medical Center for treatment of a cut on his head, Van Eckhardt said. The other two vehicles were damaged but their occupants were not seriously injured, he said.

All three vehicles were moved to the side of the freeway and the scene was cleared by about 4 a.m., he said.

Neither accident resulted in any arrests, he said.

Van Eckhardt said it’s not uncommon to see more weekend and late-night accidents over the summer months.

“We start seeing more kids out at later hours, so we see more accidents in that direction,” he said.

kworth@sfexaminer.com

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