A two-vehicle accident on Highway 101 in Atascadero Sunday afternoon left an elderly driver dead and his passenger with major injuries.
According to the California Highway Patrol, Atascadero resident Thomas Cahill, 71, was driving a 1969 Alfa Romera convertible northbound on Highway 101 just south of the San Ramon exit when, for unknown reasons, he veered from the No. 2 lane into the No. 1 lane, colliding with a 2016 Hyundai sendan driven by 42-year-old Selma resident Melissa Smith before veering back to the right, onto the dirt shoulder and up an embankment. The vehicle overturned and Thomas Cahill, who was not wearing a safety belt, was ejected from the vehicle, sustaining fatal injuries. His passenger, Ruth Cahill, 72, was wearing a safety belt and was trapped inside the vehicle after it came to rest upside down. Ruth Cahill sustained major injuries as a result of the accident and was transported to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo.
Smith was not injured in the accident. The cause of the collision is still under investigation.