Three teen-agers suffered serious injuries Sunday morning when their car, traveling at freeway speed, hit a slow-moving Caltrans truck on Interstate 5 near Del Mar. The truck was moving slowly to divert motorists around a work crew applying lane separator buttons on the pavement, the California Highway Patrol reported.
Authorities said the three young women survived the 7 a.m. accident because the Caltrans truck was equipped with special bumpers designed to absorb just such high-speed rear-end collisions in order to protect the work crew ahead of it.
The driver of the vehicle, identified by the CHP as Diane L. Wibrew, 18, of Fallbrook, was taken to Sharp Memorial Hospital, where she was listed in serious but stable condition Sunday night.
The CHP said both passengers in the car received serious injuries. They were identified as Jennifer Hughes, 18, of Provo, Utah, who was taken to UC San Diego Medical Center, and Amy L. Vincent, 18, of Victorville, who was taken to Sharp. Both were described in stable condition Sunday night.
The driver of the Caltrans truck, identified as Bill Sullens of Riverside, escaped injury.