Two people suffered significant but not life-threatening injuries Wednesday evening in a rollover crash on northbound Highway 101 in Novato, emergency sources said.
A wreck was reported at 5:17 p.m. involving a white GMC Yukon, according to the . The California Highway Patrol initially said a gray Buick Century also had been involved.
The SUV, with five passengers all from the same Santa Rosa family, ended up on its side just before the interchange between northbound Highway 101 and eastbound Highway 37, CHP Officer Eric Hohmeister said.
The male driver of the SUV was found halfway out of the vehicle and one female passenger from the front seat was trapped inside, Battalion Chief Jeff Veliquette said. It was unclear whether the driver had been partially ejected or had attempted to get out of the crashed SUV, he said.
A rescue crew from Novato Fire's Station 62 (Atherton) used the Jaws of Life to extricate the two trapped people, Veliquette said.
Early police radio reports indicated that at least one person had been ejected from the SUV, "but when we arrived that did not appear to be the case," Veliquette said.
Three other back seat passengers, all female, got out of the vehicle with the help of passers-by who stopped to help, the CHP said. Veliquette added that several good Samaritans consoled those who got out of the SUV on their own, some of whom had minor injuries.
The five passengers appeared to be three generations of one family, Veliquette said. All five were transported to area hospitals, the last sent off at 5:49 p.m., he said.
For a short time, rush-hour traffic backed up beyond the Alameda del Prado/Nave Drive exit and into Marinwood, the CHP said. Lanes leading to eastbound 37 were temporarily blocked, but CHP officers began routing slowed traffic around the wreck and onto 37 shortly after 6 p.m. The road was cleared by 6:30 p.m.
Although the cause of the crash was undetermined, Hohmeister said preliminary interviews revealed that the SUV had been in the No. 1 (fast) lane or No. 2 lane when it suddenly cut across lanes to the right and rolled as it went off the pavement.
Novato Fire received support from Marin County Fire with coverage while units were at the crash site.