Traffic coming into Watsonville was snarled for more than an hour Wednesday after a motorist ran a red light and t-boned a vintage dump truck, Watsonville police reported.
No one was seriously hurt, but the crash closed the busy intersection at Main Street and South Green Valley Road for more than 2 1/2 hours.
The collision happened around 11:48 a.m. when a 31-year-old Gilroy woman apparently ran a red light when she was turning left from eastbound Main Street onto South Green Valley Road, according to Watsonville police traffic officer Jason Koehler.
The woman's sport utility vehicle t-boned the side of a 1958 GMC two-ton dump truck that was fully loaded with yard debris and towing a chipper machine.
The truck had been westbound on Main Street. The force of the collision flipped it onto its side and turned the SUV 180 degrees, though it stayed on its wheels. Its front end was badly smashed.
The woman driving the SUV suffered minor injuries. Two children in her vehicle—a girl, age 10, and boy, age 11—were not hurt. The dump truck driver was holding his neck while sitting on a cooler on the side of the road, but Koehler said he was not hurt.
When asked about how the crash happened, Koehler said "she doesn't know" if she had a green light, speaking about the SUV driver.
"Bbut the truck says they had a green ligh," he added. "... Sounds like she ran the red light, basically."
The dump truck belonged to Green Tree Services Co., a Watsonville landscaping company. The future of the classic vehicle was uncertain Wednesday. One Green Tree Services employee said the truck would be repaired, but another said "it's going to its grave."
"Maybe now we can finally get a real dump truck," he added.
The intersection reopened around 2:30 p.m.