Two dead, four injured in SM collision
SANTA MARIA — Two people died and four others were injured in a traffic collision Friday night on State Route 166 west of Black Road just west of the city of Santa Maria, authorities said.
The collision was reported around 6:05 p.m. and involved three vehicles. A vehicle was traveling east along the dirt shoulder at a high rate of speed passing several vehicles before losing control and spinning into the westbound lanes, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The vehicle, driven by 20-year-old Miguel Preciadonava, of Santa Maria, collided head on into another vehicle, causing the second vehicle to roll onto its roof. Mr. Preciadonava’s vehicle continued east in the westbound lane and struck a third vehicle before coming to rest on the dirt shoulder.
Mr. Preciadonava and the driver of the second vehicle, 30-year-old Oscar Campos, of Santa Maria, were found in their respective vehicles and pronounced dead at the scene. Two others suffered minor injuries and two children, ages 6 and 3, were also injured. The 3-year-old suffered a lacerated spleen and the 6-year-old suffered injuries to the nose and head, the CHP said. Both children were transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital via Calstar.
The cause of the collision is under investigation by the CHP.
— Mitchell White
Vegetation fire prompts evacuations
SANTA YNEZ — A fast-moving brush fire prompted evacuation orders Saturday afternoon near the 1800 block of View Drive in the Santa Ynez Valley, authorities said.
The View Fire was reported around 3:21 p.m. The Santa Barbara County Fire Department launched a full vegetation response and was joined on scene by crews from the Los Padres National Forest. Initial reports indicated at least 20 acres had burned and the fire was threatening structures in the area, said Capt. Daniel Bertucelli, fire spokesman.
Evacuation orders were issued for several residences along View Drive and nearby Baseline Road. Large animal evacuation was also taking place, Capt. Bertucelli said.
Ground units were assisted by a pair of air tankers and a helicopter. Crews were able to work quickly to knock down the blaze and evacuation orders were lifted by 4:45 p.m.
“Originally structures and large animals were threatened. Now threat is clear,” Capt. Bertucelli wrote on Twitter.
As of 5:30 p.m., the fire was fully contained and had burned 45 acres.
A caller reported to the California Highway Patrol that power lines caused the fire, though the official cause of the blaze remains under investigation.
— Mitchell White
Search continues for missing woman
SANTA BARBARA – The Santa Barbara Police Department is continuing to search for Ashley Lynn Zachman, who was last seen May 29.
Ms. Zachman, 36, was last seen around 5 p.m. May 29 working at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, 320 W. Pueblo St., and her family members and coworkers have not seen or heard from her. Ms. Zachman’s parents notified police June 2 that their daughter was missing and did not show up for work, said Anthony Wagner, spokesman for the Santa Barbara Police Department.
Since she was reported missing, police have investigated various electronic records and checked surveillance video at business and public places. Police have received various tips on possible sightings and also have worked with the fire department to monitor trailheads, Mr. Wagner said.
Law enforcement across West Coast states has been notified and police have utilized license plates and traffic cameras from surrounding areas, while also serving search warrants for records.
In addition, police have contacted witnesses and interviewed her coworkers, checked hotels and motels in cities she has frequented and has contacted federal authorities for assistance searching for her vehicle, a 2008 white Mazda 3.
Ms. Zachman’s information has been entered into the National Missing & Unidentified Persons System and the state’s Department of Justice Missing & Unidentified Persons.
She is 5-foot-5, weighs 115 lbs and has brown hair and blue eyes.
“SBPD continues to investigate the case,” Mr. Wagner said. “There are no specific signs of foul play at this time.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact police by calling 805-897-2465.
— Mitchell White
Fire burns 75 acres
SANTA MARIA — A vegetation fire broke out Saturday night, charring at least 75 acres in the area of White Rock Road east of Santa Maria, authorities said.
Santa Barbara County Fire Department crews were dispatched to the scene around 6:23 p.m. The department launched a full vegetation response and were assisted by two engines from the San Luis Obispo Cal Fire unit, as well as a helicopter and two air tankers out of Paso Robles, said Capt. Daniel Bertucelli, fire spokesman.
Arriving units reported 25 acres burned, with slow to moderate spread. By 8 p.m., the fire grew to 75 acres, Capt. Bertucelli said.
No structures were threatened and no injuries or damage was reported. Traffic restrictions were in place in the nearby area.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
— Mitchell White