Police Seek Driver Who Caused Pileup

Authorities are searching for the driver of a pickup truck suspected of causing a nine-car pileup Monday morning on the Ventura Freeway bridge over the Santa Clara River.

One woman was sent to the hospital with minor injuries after her car was demolished in the 8 a.m. crash, and rush-hour traffic on the northbound Ventura Freeway was tied up for 1 1/2 hours while the wreckage was cleared from the roadway.

California Highway Patrol Officer Dave Cockrill said the crash happened when a man in a white Toyota pickup slammed on his brakes while going 50 mph in the inside lane.

That set off a chain-reaction accident involving eight other vehicles, Cockrill said.


After the accident, the driver of the Toyota got out of his truck, surveyed the damage and drove off, Cockrill said.

The ninth car in the pileup was a 1991 Ford Escort driven by Dalia Lara, 19, of Oxnard, Cockrill said. She was taken by ambulance to Ventura County Medical Center with minor pain in her neck and left arm, probably caused by her seat belt, Cockrill said.

The investigation is continuing.