Man test-driving Porsche suspected of DUI after crash

clambert@thetribunenews.comOctober 12, 2012 

An estimated $6,000 worth of wine grapes spilled onto southbound Highway 101 at the base of the Cuesta Grade on Thursday during rainy weather. A truck towing a trailer with containers full of wine grapes collided with a Porsche.


A Santa Maria man who was test-driving a Porsche on Highway 101 on Thursday and collided with a pickup truck and trailer hauling wine grapes was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, according to CHP.

Stephen Janssen, 56, was heading south on the highway, near Hawk Hill Road at the base of the Cuesta Grade, in a 2003 Porsche from a local dealership about 12:44 p.m. in heavy rain.

He was speeding when he lost control and struck the cement center wall, then swerved into another lane and collided with a Dodge pickup truck and trailer loaded with Zinfandel wine grapes, according to the CHP.

Two large crates of grapes spilled onto the highway, blocking the southbound traffic lanes, CHP said. Janssen was arrested at the scene.

He and the pickup truck driver, Vito Panaro, 55, of Wrightwood in San Bernardino County, both suffered minor injuries.

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