Head-on collision on Highway 46 sends two men to hospital

Two men were sent to the hospital early Monday morning after a head-on collision on Highway 46 near Shandon, the CHP said.

According to a news release, an unidentified man was driving a 2006 Hummer H3 eastbound on Hwy 46 shortly after midnight when he attempted to pass a slow-moving tractor trailer. The Hummer then collided with a 1995 Ford box van that was traveling westbound on the highway.

The vehicles came to a stop facing each other and blocking the westbound land of the highway.

The driver of the Ford — Francisco J. Valdez, 64, of Salinas — was transported via ambulance to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo with major injuries, according to the release. The driver of the Hummer, who has yet to be identified, was transported by helicopter to Sierra Vista with major injuries.

The cause of the collision is under investigation, though drug and alcohol are not suspected to be factors in the crash.