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4 injured in head-on crash on Highway 1 near San Simeon

CHP officers inspect the scene of a crash Wednesday at Vista Del Mar and Highway 1 at the south end of San Simeon while paramedics work to aid one of the German tourists injured in the collision.
CHP officers inspect the scene of a crash Wednesday at Vista Del Mar and Highway 1 at the south end of San Simeon while paramedics work to aid one of the German tourists injured in the collision. sprovost@thetribunenews.com

Four German tourists were taken to the hospital after their rented white Jeep collided with another white Jeep carrying a pair of Australian tourists Wednesday on Highway 1 at the south end of San Simeon.

The accident happened about 1:15 p.m. when the northbound Jeep, carrying the Australian couple, tried to make a left turn off the highway onto Vista Del Mar Avenue.

The vehicle “made the left turn without sufficient clearance,” CHP officer Dave Reed said at the scene. “Their vehicle spun around and rolled forward.”

Reed said the Australian couple, the 42-year-old male driver and a 41-year-old woman, declined treatment. The front end of their vehicle sustained significant damage.

The four German tourists all were taken to a hospital. Two were loaded via stretcher into separate ambulances with what Reed described as moderate injuries. He described the injuries to the two other passengers as minor. Two adults and two children were southbound in the Jeep Patriot; their names and ages were not immediately available.

“They were going to fly out in a day back to Germany,” Cal Fire Capt. Ryan Grebe said on the scene. “Unfortunately, this just happened on their last day. They were just driving down the road.”

The Jeep Patriot’s front end was heavily damaged on the left side, with a portion of the bumper lying 10 feet in front of the vehicle on the roadside and the rest of it hanging off the vehicle’s right front. Both air bags had deployed, and debris littered the right side of the road.

Roger DeWeese of Del Mar, who was vacationing with his wife, was stopped at the Highway 1 stop sign on Vista Del Mar when the accident occurred.

“The Jeep (Patriot) was at the head of six or seven cars going south,” he said. “I was at the stop sign. That white car over there kind of made a coasting left turn in front of the lead car. It was definitely what you call entering traffic.”

Traffic slowed, primarily southbound, for about an hour while safety personnel cleared the area of debris.

Staff writer Lindsey Holden contributed to this story.

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