Downed power lines snag motorcyclist

Traffic on northbound Highway 1 is in gridlock prior to the Rio Del Mar overcrossing Friday afternoon where downed power lines snagged a motorcyclist and threw him onto the north lanes. — Tarmo Hannula/LIFE

A motorcyclist was dragged off his motorcycle on Highway 1 Friday after a giant oak tree crashed to the pavement, ripped down power lines and draped them across the freeway.

The motorcyclist was traveling northbound just south of the Rio Del Mar overcrossing at 2:20 p.m. when the tree fell on nearby Bonita Drive in Aptos. That’s when a chain-reaction of downed power lines continued across Highway 1 and onto the other side of the freeway. Lines also collapsed on Soquel Drive.

After the motorcyclist was yanked off his vehicle he ended up sprawled across the north lanes, forcing officials to close down northbound traffic altogether.

The victim was taken to Dominican Hospital and then picked up by an air ambulance and flown to an out-of-county trauma center.

Bonita Drive was closed off by the tree and power lines. A resident, who had his power service drop ripped out of the side of his home by the falling tree, said he was watching TV when he heard a huge boom.

“I was watching the news when I heard it. I lost power right away,” he said.

wires hwy 1, 2 web 7-5

A giant oak tree crashed to the pavement on Bonita Drive, dragging power lines with it around 2:20 p.m. in Aptos Friday. — Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian 

Traffic on Soquel Drive, Highway 1, Freedom Boulevard and Bonita Drive quickly turned into a logjam. Northbound Highway 1 traffic backed up toward Watsonville as far as Vista Point.

Pacific Gas and Electric was summoned to deal with the downed lines.

The incident is still under investigation.

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