John Roderick Dungan has been charged with three counts of murder in connection with the head-on crash that left a woman and her two young children dead.
Mr. Dungan, who was formally charged Wednesday for his involvement in the Oct. 25 crash on State Route 154, faces enhancements for committing crimes while out on bail and for committing a serious felony.
District Attorney Joyce Dudley said her office has not chosen a murder degree for the charges.
“That is yet to be determined and is still under investigation,” said Ms. Dudley.
Deputy District Attorney Stephen Wagner will prosecute the case, according to statement from the DA’s Office.
Mr. Dugan, 28, will appear for arraignment Friday before Judge Clifford Anderson in the Figueroa Division of the Santa Barbara County Superior Court.
The fatal crash occurred around 4:45 p.m. on Oct. 25. California Highway Patrol officials say a Chevy Camaro driven by Mr. Dungan was traveling westbound on the 154 approaching Cold Spring Canyon Bridge. Mr. Dungan’s Camaro struck the front of a Chevrolet Volt driven by 34-year-old Solvang resident Vanessa Bley as she was traveling eastbound. The crash caused a GMC Yukon to swerve out of control and strike Ms. Bley’s car causing it to catch fire.
“The Volt and the GMC came to rest on the south shoulder where they both caught fire, ultimately causing a brush fire,” said Capt. Cindy Pontes, spokeswoman for the California Highway Patrol, said in a news release.
Ms. Bley and her children, two-year-old Lucienne Bley Gleason and four-month-old Desmond Bley Gleason, all died of their injuries.
Mr. Dungan suffered major injuries and was airlifted to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.
The driver and 13-year-old passenger in the Yukon, whose names were withheld, were not injured.
Mr. Dungan’s bail is currently set at $2 million.
According to Sheriff’s Office records, Mr. Dungan was arrested Tuesday and is actively in custody in the Southern Branch Jail
Ms. Bley was a decorated jazz singer and was the front woman for the pop band Beast Patrol, with the group having a song featured in Rolling Stone in 2012. She would later team with Stuart Matthewman to release “Twin Danger,” an album that reached No. 1 on the iTunes Jazz Chart.