A head-on collision in Cuyama Valley has left two people dead, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department. California Highway Patrol was dispatched along with local law enforcement and emergency services to the site of the motor vehicle accident, which claimed the lives of a man and a woman from Santa Maria. The second driver involved in the crash also suffered serious injuries.
According to the report filed by CHP, a vehicle driven by a 52-year-old man and carrying a 34-year-old female passenger was traveling east on Highway 166 when the accident occurred. For reasons that have not yet been determined, the vehicle entered the westbound lanes, striking a tanker truck head-on. The force of the impact totaled the vehicle and seriously injured the truck driver, who was rushed to a local hospital via helicopter.
The driver and passenger in the vehicle were not wearing seat belts at the time of the crash. They were both pronounced dead of blunt-force trauma. Police are still investigating the crash, and closed the highway to facilitate their investigation.
The driver responsible for this motor vehicle accident perished in the crash, so no criminal charges will be forthcoming from California authorities. However, the family of his deceased passenger and the injured truck driver are still entitled to file a wrongful death or personal injury lawsuit, respectively, against his estate in civil court. Evidence of negligence, recklessness and/or intoxication on the part of the driver can be used to support these claims and may result in damages being awarded to the plaintiffs by the court.
Source: sanliusobispo.com, “2 killed in head-on crash on Highway 166 identified“, Tom Bolton, May 22, 2018