A serious head-on collision has claimed two lives in Santa Barbara County, according to the local fire department. The motor vehicle accident took place on April 6 on California Highway 166 in Cuyama. It has been confirmed that two vehicles were involved, and so far, no charges have been filed as part of the ongoing investigation.
According to the information provided in the report, a passenger vehicle carrying three students from Cal Poly was headed eastbound on Highway 166 when the accident occurred. For reasons unknown, the 29-year-old female driver of another passenger vehicle headed westbound suddenly swerved over the center line into oncoming traffic. The 20-year-old driver of the other car attempted to avoid a collision, but the vehicles crashed head-on.
The force of the impact killed both the 29-year-old driver and her 29-year-old male passenger. The three students in the other car also suffered injuries, the worst of which was a 21-year-old woman’s collapsed lung and broken ribs. All three were taken to local hospitals for treatment where they have all been stabilized. The investigation is still underway, but no charges seem likely.
Criminal charges are not filed posthumously in a fatal motor vehicle accident scenario where the driver at fault dies in the crash. However, the family of the passenger, as well as the injured students, are entitled under California law to file wrongful death and/or personal injury suits against the driver’s estate. The complaints may also name other individuals with ownership interest in the vehicle, and the cases will be handled in a civil court setting.