Fiery big rig crash closes northbound Hwy. 101 in Cotati

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Northbound Highway 101 shut down early Wednesday in Cotati after a big rig collided with another vehicle, overturning the double‑trailer UPS rig, which became ungulfed in flames, according to the CHP.

The 3:55 a.m. crash led to a nightmare morning commute, with miles of traffic delays on the highway and alternate routes.

The crash happened just south of West Sierra Avenue. How the crash occurred remained under investigation. One driver was taken to a hospital with a broken arm, according to authorities.

The rig ended up partially on the right shoulder and partially in traffic lanes, with debris littering the highway. Caltrans officials were responding to inspect the roadway for any damage and whether repaving is needed, CHP Officer Steve Fricke said. UPS officials also responded, to see if anything could be salvaged.

All three northbound lanes were closed for about two hours. The left lane opened at 5:40 a.m. but the other two lanes were expected to remain closed until late morning for clean up and to move the burned rig, Fricke said.

Drivers should continue to use alternate routes as northbound Highway 101 was backed up for miles beyond typical commute levels.

The alternate routes, however, also got bogged down in the crash aftermath and at least one minor collision was reported from the Highway 101 back up, Fricke said.

“All of them have back ups. It’s all a mess,” Fricke said.

The fire spread briefly to nearby grass but was put out by Rancho Adobe firefighters.

Check back for updates.

You can reach Staff Writer Randi Rossmann at 707‑521-5412 or On Twitter@rossmannreport.

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