Major injury crash on Freedom Boulevard

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WATSONVILLE — Watsonville Police on Wednesday were investigating the cause of a multiple-vehicle collision that sent seven people to hospitals and caused two vehicles to smash into a business.

It was unclear Wednesday afternoon what caused the collision into Marquez Jumpers at 1205 Freedom Blvd. at about 1:40 p.m.

Watsonville Police Sgt. Mish Radich said that speed was one factor, and that one vehicle “overtook” another just before the crash.

Radich also said that one of the vehicles may have swerved to make way for a fire truck, and cut off the other vehicle.

Both vehicles, a green Honda Civic and a white Chevrolet Silverado, then smashed into the building. The truck forced a silver vehicle parked there deeply into the building.

One of the drivers, a 16-year-old male, was arrested for driving without a license and reckless driving causing injuries. He was booked into Santa Cruz County Juvenile Hall.

Police do not think that drugs or alcohol were involved.

Watsonville Police Officer Charlie Bailey described the scene as “chaotic” when emergency personnel arrived.

Four children were flown to out-of-area trauma centers, and three adults were taken to Watsonville Community Hospital. All were suffering from non-life-threatening injuries.

The injured victims were all inside the store at the time of the crash.

Freedom Boulevard was closed between Lincoln and Laurel streets for more than two hours.

City officials red-tagged the building due to structural damage.

The Watsonville, Pajaro Valley and North Monterey County fire departments responded to the scene along with paramedics from American Medical Response. CalStar, LifeFlight and Reach Air Medical Services air ambulances flew the injured children to trauma centers.

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