SLO man seriously injured following vehicle rollover at top of Cuesta Grade

A car crash on the Cuesta Grade seriously injured a San Luis Obispo man Tuesday evening.

Just before 6:30 p.m., Orion Tyler Ross, 29, was driving a black 1998 Toyota 4Runner north on Highway 101 in the No. 2 lane “at a speed in excess of 70 mph,” according to a news release from the CHP.

Ross then “made an abrupt lane change” into the No. 1 lane, right in front of a 1994 GMC Suburban, and hit the brakes, the CHP said.

The driver of the Suburban, 29-year-old Robert Powers, of Paso Robles, was traveling at 65 mph, when the Toyota appeared in front of his car, the CHP said.

He braked and collided into the rear of Ross’s Toyota, which caused the Toyota to overturn several times across southbound traffic lanes, the CHP said.

Ross, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected onto the road, according to the release. The CHP said it appears he was trying to make a left turn into the brake check area at the summit of the Cuesta Grade.

Ross was seriously injured and was taken to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo, the CHP said. He is in critical condition.

Powers was not injured in the crash, the CHP said.

The collision is still under investigation.

Related stories from San Luis Obispo Tribune

Kaytlyn Leslie writes about business and development for The San Luis Obispo Tribune. Hailing from Nipomo, she also covers city governments and happenings in the South County region, including Arroyo Grande, Pismo Beach and Grover Beach. She joined The Tribune in 2013 after graduating from Cal Poly with her journalism degree.