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SLO County employees fixing a road suffer serious injuries after being hit by a car

Two employees of the San Luis Obispo Public Works Department were struck by a vehicle and seriously injured in Cayucos on Tuesday.
Two employees of the San Luis Obispo Public Works Department were struck by a vehicle and seriously injured in Cayucos on Tuesday.

Two San Luis Obispo County employees working on a Cayucos roadway were seriously injured on Tuesday when a car crashed into them.

The crash happened at about 1:10 p.m., when Michael Engelberg, 81, of West Hollywood was driving a gray Honda Fit north on Highway 1 south of Chaney Avenue, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Engelberg thought he saw the Cayucos exit and steered toward the intersection of Chaney Avenue and Ocean Boulevard while traveling at 65 mph, according to a CHP news release.

Three San Luis Obispo County Public Works water systems employees were working on a water line in a construction zone at the intersection when the vehicle veered toward them.

One of the employees saw the vehicle and was able to get out of the way in time. But Engelberg crashed into Justin Smith, 35, of Atascadero and Travis Holt, 38, of Paso Robles.

Smith was pinned under the car as it came to rest, and the impact from the crash propelled Holt into the side of a residence east of the scene, according to the news release.

Smith and Holt sustained major injuries and were transported by ambulance to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo.

Engelberg and his passenger, Aurora Wells, 31, of Brooklyn, New York, sustained minor injuries. He was also transported to the hospital for treatment.

The families of both workers were notified of the crash, according to the Public Works Department.

“Right now, our biggest concern is for our colleagues’ health and safety. We are grateful they are alive,” Interim Public Works Director John Diodati said in a news release. “Please keep these two members of our community in your thoughts as they heal.”

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