Driver arrested after State Route 1 crash in Gaviota
A man was arrested Friday after a fiery, head-on collision that resulted in the deaths of two women on State Route 1 in Gaviota.
California Highway Patrol announced the arrest of Kyle Nelson, 22, of Goleta on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.
“Charges are pending a toxicology report,” Officer Gabe Rodriguez of the CHP’s Buellton office said.
The collision, which happened around 4 a.m., cost the lives of Lompoc residents Jenna Causby, 19, and Dorothyann Guthrie, 20.
Mr. Nelson was driving a Ford C-Max south on State Route 1 at 80 mph, north of Highway 101, Officer Rodriguez said.
Mr. Nelson was approaching Ms. Causby, who was driving a Chevrolet Malibu, from the north on State Route 1. Ms. Guthrie was her passenger.
Ms. Causby was approaching Mr. Nelson from the south, Officer Rodriguez said.
Officer Rodriguez said the crash occurred as Mr. Nelson overtook slower traffic, traveling southbound directly ahead of his vehicle.
The CHP officer said Mr. Nelson passed over solid double yellow lines, traveling south in the No. 1 northbound lane, directly into the path of the Chevrolet.
Ms. Causby, realizing the Ford was traveling the wrong way, turned the Chevrolet to the right in an attempt to avoid a head-on crash, Officer Rodriguez said.
Simultaneously, Mr. Nelson turned the Ford to the left, and the front of the Ford collided head-on with the front of the Chevrolet.
The force of this crash rotated both vehicles in a counterclockwise direction, Officer Rodriguez said.
The Chevrolet was propelled to the east shoulder where it came to rest facing a westerly direction. The Ford came to rest in the northbound lanes, facing a westerly direction.
After the collision, both vehicles became engulfed in flames.
The Santa Barbara County Fire Department tackled the fire and pronounced Ms. Causby and Ms. Guthrie dead at the scene.
Mr. Nelson sustained major injuries and was transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.