Nipomo woman thrown off scooter on Highway 101

November 2, 2015

ambulance 4A Nipomo woman suffered major injuries Sunday morning after her scooter collided with a car on Highway 101, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Shortly before 8 a.m., Bettina Annette Williams, 49, was riding a 2012 Yamaha Majesty scooter southbound on Highway 101 south near Tefft Street in Nipomo at approximately 70 mph. Williams was riding in the fast lane a few car lengths behind a 2010 Nissan Armada driven at 60 mph by Santa Maria resident Juan Jose Hernandez, 57.

Hernandez swerved to the left and slowed down as he attempted to make a right turn across the highway.

Williams did not have enough time to slow down and the front of her scooter hit the left rear of the car, ejecting Williams from the scooter onto the highway.

Emergency responders transported Williams to Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria with major injuries

Neither alcohol nor drugs played a role in the crash.


Three things caught my eye in this story:

Scooter. 70mph. Fast Lane.

Yeah. Not a good recipe. I didn’t think scooters were allowed on the Freeway…?


r0y, anything at or over 150cc is allowed. Modern Vespas go 90 mph now-a-days. They ARE allowed, the ARE safe, and they are a recipe for great fun while getting 50-80 mpg.


By the way the 2012 Yamaha Majesty is a 400 cc scooter with a top speed of 90 mph. It will, in all likelihood, out accelerate any normal passenger car.

fishing village

Making turns , no matter in what direction, requires signaling before the turn! I hope the woman will be okay who was hurt. So sad to read about accidents involving bikes, motorcycles and scooters as they are so vulnerable in our world of cars and trucks. Please be careful out there.


The Santa Maria Times reported, “Hernandez swung the Armada partially into the slow lane to make a left turn into the center median, where he intended to drive through a break in the guardrail, Dana said.”

The Tribune says “Hernandez partially entered the slow lane to attempt a left turn into the center median, because he intended to drive through a break in the guardrail, the news release said. Williams didn’t have enough time to react to Hernandez’s lane change, and the front of the scooter hit the left rear of the Nissan, according to the news release”.

Both reports come from the CHP.


Gotta love all the experts here who know exactly what happened and the mental states of the drivers! 1. Do not drive a scooter at 70 mph. 2. Do not drive a scooter in the #1 lane. 3. Do not drive a scooter behind a slower vehicle. 4. Do not read these posts, it will either kill you or delay your recovery.


So, johnhartz is an expert and has decreed the following: no scooters in the #1 lane or behind a slower vehicle (which can only occur for a short period of time, based on physics) and 70 mph is specifically (for some reason) excluded from a maintained speed.

What an idiot.


“Hernandez swerved to the left and slowed down as he attempted to make a right turn across the highway.”

This doesn’t make sense… he swerved LEFT …as he attempted to make a RIGHT turn? The poster below mentions he was trying to turn through the center divider to the LEFT which makes more sense. Either way, the scooter rider is primarily at fault for driving at an unsafe speed and the Armada driver is partially at fault for illegal turn through divider.


sounds like the scooter driver was following to closely also


“Neither alcohol nor drugs played a role in the crash.” Nope, it wasn’t drugs, it was POOR DRIVING. Swerving and trying to do a U turn on the 101 is NOT a good idea Mr. Hernandez.

The Tribune article said “Hernandez partially entered the slow lane to attempt a left turn into the center median, because he intended to drive through a break in the guardrail, the news release said.”

The news release could not be found on the CHP site.


Many times there is little time to rationalize or do critical thinking in such a situation, and our brain makes a game plan that in hindsight seems like such a not-so-bright tactical move, due to the fact is has to take “neural short cuts”. Cognitive psychology is a fascinating topic, but your comment? Not so much. It is wearing to read such posts by people who rarely understand the logistics of what comes into play when the brain attempts such tactical maneuvers and outside objects are moving faster than the brain is able to. Thank goodness the Highway Patrol also has access to ‘human factor’ information other than your opinion, and understand these concepts also. There is always some knuckle dragger waiting in the wings to judge people for their shortcomings.


indigo1955, you are off the beaten path. This lady, if she survives at all, will endure years of hard and painful work to return her life to normal. Because humans CAN make mistakes does not mean that we should allow or forgive them for making mistakes. Driving a Nissan Armada is serious business and his actions were selfish and short sighted. You claim that I’m an idiot for calling him out as a poor driver; I claim you are an idiot for not doing the same.


Fancy sounding post, indi, but from the reports, sounds like Hernandez violated her right of way while driving like an idiot. And oh, no, don’t judge; he wasted a person because of stupidity and negligence, but you wouldn’t want to blame him. By the way, your bit about brain speed logistics etc is gibberish nonsense. You look before you maneuver on the highway!