Major injury car crash in downtown Santa Barbara sends two people to the hospital

Hundreds of vehicles rerouted for hours

A major two car crash injured both drivers and blocked hundreds of vehicles from Carrillo and Chapala streets for hours in Santa Barbara. (John Palminteri/

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Emergency crews are on the scene of a two-car T-bone crash in downtown Santa Barbara.

It happened just before noon Thursday near the intersection of Chapala and Carrillo streets. Santa Barbara City Firefighters had to extricate one person trapped inside their car.

Two people were taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. One person suffered critical injuries in the crash but that person's condition improved at the hospital, according to NewsChannel 3 Senior Reporter John Palminteri who is on scene. The second person suffered moderate injuries in the collision.

Investigators believe one of the vehicles involved may have had a mechanical issue prior to the crash. Both cars suffered major damage and left a debris field on the roadway. The intersection is expected to be closed for a few hours and fire officials warn motorists to exercise caution when driving through the area.

Police officers have blocked traffic flow in the area of Carrillo Street between State Street and De La Vina Street and up to Figueroa Street.

MTD buses are picking up passengers near Riley's Flowers past the intersection of Chapala and Figueroa streets.

Only the two drivers were inside their respective vehicles at the time of the crash, according to police. The investigation is ongoing.

This story has been updated with the latest information.

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