A 56-year-old Atascadero man was killed Tuesday in a head-on wreck on Highway 156 near Hollister.
The San Benito County Sheriff’s Department identified the man as John Walter Thompson, said Lt. Roy Iler with the sheriff’s office, which acts as the county coroner.
The accident involved a big rig and a pickup and occurred around 2:45 p.m. Tuesday on Highway 156 between Flint and Bixby roads.
Thompson died when the maroon Toyota Tacoma pickup he was driving eastbound collided with a semi headed west toward the San Juan Bautista area, said Officer Jaime Rios, spokesman for the CHP.
The CHP said the passenger in the pickup was Ryan Thompson, 20, of Atascadero. The big rig driver was Kenneth Yates, 39, of Salem, Mo.
Witnesses reported the pickup had been driving on the wrong side of the road when it hit the semi, Rios said.
John Thompson died before authorities arrived. Ryan Thompson was transported to a hospital by Calstar with what appeared to be non-life-threatening injuries, according to officials.
Yates was treated at the scene with apparently nonserious injuries. He was transported to Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital with complaints of chest pains, according to the CHP.
The pickup’s front-left side and corner were smashed into the driver, whose body remained in the vehicle while authorities responded to help the others.