Stolen vehicle involved in collision with bus
SANTA BARBARA — A Santa Barbara man was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and possessing a stolen vehicle that collided with a MTD bus in downtown Santa Barbara Saturday afternoon, police said.
Around 12:15 p.m., a Santa Barbara Police officer discovered a stolen vehicle, a silver Honda CRV, in the area of Foodland on the Westside. Officers waited for additional resources to respond before conducting a traffic stop at Bath and Isla streets, said Lt. Aaron Baker, police spokesman.
The driver, Jose Munoz, 24, fled eastbound on Isla and ran several stop signs and was driving recklessly. The vehicle continued into the intersection at State and Islay streets “where it was broadsided by the bus,” Lt. Baker told the News-Press.
The stolen vehicle had three occupants, Mr. Munoz and two juveniles. Mr. Munoz and one of the juveniles suffered serious injuries, and six bus passengers suffered minor injuries and two were transported for further treatment.
The vehicle had reportedly been stolen several days ago in the city, Lt. Baker said.
Mr. Munoz’s injuries were believed to be non-life threatening injuries. Police said he is suspected to have been driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Mr. Munoz was arrested on suspicion of child endangerment, DUI collision causing injury, possession of a stolen vehicle and possession of narcotics for sale — all felonies.
He is also charged with evading.
The injured juvenile is expected to be released to their guardian upon release from the hospital. The other was transported to the police department and released to their guardian, police said.
Both the bus and the stolen vehicle sustained major front end damage and needed to be towed from the scene.
— Mitchell White
Fire near Dos Pueblos High
GOLETA — Santa Barbara County Fire Department crews were able to quickly douse a brush fire that broke out Saturday near Dos Pueblos High School in Goleta.
Around 12:45 p.m., fire crews were dispatched to the 7200 block of Alameda Avenue to a report of a fire near the baseball fields at the school. The initial report from the first engine company on scene was a quarter-acre burning in light fuels at a moderate rate of spread, said Capt. Daniel Bertucelli, fire spokesman.
Crews were able to knock down the fire with hose lines. No injuries were reported and no structures were threatened.
Crews remained on scene for about an hour to fully contain the blaze, the cause of which is under investigation.
— Mitchell White
Closures scheduled for Highway 101 widening project
CARPINTERIA — Several highway and ramp closures are planned next week as work continues on the Highway 101 widening project in Carpinteira.
From 9 p.m. tonight to 5 a.m. Monday, one northbound lane will be closed from Casitas Pass Road to Santa Claus Lane and North Padaro Lane to Sheffield Drive. A similar closure will be enforced during overnight hours Monday to Friday, according to Caltrans officials.
The northbound onramp at Linden Avenue is expected to reopen Monday night.
From 10 p.m. tonight to 7 a.m. Monday, one southbound lane will be closed from Sheffield Drive to North Padaro Lane and Carpinteria Avenue to Casitas Pass Road. A similar closure will be enforced during overnight hours Monday to Friday.
This week, the onramps and offramps at Carpinteria, Reynolds, Linden avenues and Casitas Pass Road will be closed during overnight hours tonight to Thursday night. Consecutive onramps in the same direction will not be closed at the same time.
The southbound onramp at Sheffield Drive will be closed for the duration of the project, with an anticipated reopening date set for 2023. The offramp at Sheffield Drive will be closed for up to 16 months and could reopen by the end of 2021.
Throughout the week, flaggers will direct traffic with alternating lane closures at the Evans Avenue undercrossing. Temporary stop signs will be installed at the intersection of Sheffield Drive and North Jameson Lane for the duration of construction of the Summerland segment.
For the Highway 101: Summerland project, which is located between Sheffield Drive and North Padaro Lane, crews are installing rebar and concrete as part of the Continuously Reinforced Concrete Pavement. Crews will also install underground storm drains and the new drainage features. The southbound lanes near North Padaro Lane will be shifted toward the outside shoulder to allow for median work and to prepare for the upcoming Padaro segment. Changes to the safety barriers and lane striping are expected.
At the Sheffield Drive interchange, work will continue on retaining walls and the bridge span. Concrete will finish curing, and then crews will stress test the new bridge deck. Work is also beginning on approach areas and safety barriers.
For the Highway 101: Carpinteria to Santa Barbara project, officials have employed measures to balance effective freeway construction with environmental protections, specifically related to cormorants, a protected bird species.
“The plan relies heavily on visual deterrents and human presence to help significantly reduce or eliminate the use of air blasts,” read a Caltrans news release. “Please expect to see biologists monitoring the area daily and tree crews rotating visual deterrents. Trees will remain as part of the longterm habitat.”
Crews also continue to build the bridge span at the Evans Avenue undercrossing. Crews have poured concrete before stress testing the new bridge deck. Crews will also work on approach areas.
Concrete recycling is continuing at the North Padaro interchange.
Crews will work transition areas in preparation for the upcoming Highway 101: Padaro segment that begins this summer.
Crews will continue work on southbound 101 and various ramps as part of the Highway 101: Carpinteria project.
At the northbound Linden Avenue onramp, crews will pave a new connection where the onramp will meet the new northbound lanes. The ramp is scheduled to reopen Monday night. Work is ongoing on overhead signs, guardrails and other adjustments on the south side of the highway.
Crews will begin preparations for the next stage of the bridge work at the Franklin and Santa Monica Creek bridges. After soil excavation, crews will begin installing underground supports for the new wing walls and sound wall over the bridge.
Crews are installing underground supports near Francisan Court and north of Cravens Lane, as well as between Franklin Creek and Santa Ynez Avenue, between Santa Ynez Avenue and Santa Monica Creek, and north of Santa Monica Creek, for the new sound walls on the north side of the highway. Crews have also installed rebar and then will place concrete blocks. Crews will begin excavating and driving piles for the new underground supports, and noise is expected during daytime work.
Utility relocations are ongoing in preparation of the planned sound wall near Via Real, by Rancho Granada Mobile Mobile Homes and San Roque Mobile Estates.
Crews will continue excavating and driving piles for new overhead signs in the area. Daytime noise is expected.
For the Highway 101: Linden and Casitas Pass portion of the project, the landscaping contractor is finishing up planting. Crews are expected to finish installing plants, clean up site areas and monitor plant establishment periodically.
For more information on the project, visit www.sbroads.com.
— Mitchell White