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Ben Lomond Driver Snarls Hwy 1 Traffic

Even fender benders can back up traffic for miles, especially in rush hour.

If you were wondering why traffic was so atrocious on Highway 1 Thursday morning, we've got an answer for you.

It wasn't just the crash near Aptos caused by a distracted driver backing things up. A Ben Lomond man driving south on the highway just north of the Soquel Drive exit made matters even worse.

At 7:54 a.m., two minutes after the Mar Monte crash, the 19-year-old Ben Lomond man failed to notice that traffic had slowed and crashed his Jeep Wrangler into a Jeep Cherokee driven by a 28-year-old Salt Lake City woman.

According to CHP Officer Sarah Jackson, the Cherokee was then pushed into a BMW sedan driven by a 63-year-old woman from Palm Desert. 

The cars blocked traffic throughout the next hour as the scene was cleared. No one suffered major injuries, but Jackson said that the Palm Desert woman was minorly injured in the crash.

Jackson couldn't confirm that the Ben Lomond driver was distracted by something (possible a cell phone or his radio) at the time of the crash, but she said clearly his eyes were not on the cars he hit.

"If you don't see traffic stopped in front of you, clearly you're looking somewhere you shouldn't be," she said.

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