The woman killed in Friday’s deadly head-on collision on Highway 154 was a talented jazz musician with several albums to her credit.
Rebecca Vanessa Goss Bley, 34 of Solvang, who died the triple-fatal collision, was the daughter of Carol Goss and the late Paul Bley. Mrs. Goss is a pioneer video artist whose work has been widely exhibited in the United States and in international collections. Mr. Bley was a jazz pianist known for his contributions to the free jazz movement of the 1960s.
Ms. Bley followed in her parents’ footsteps, studying classical piano in upstate New York before turning to jazz improvisation and singing. She will be remembered for her talent as a songwriter, performer, composer and producer.
Based in New York and Los Angeles, Ms. Bley was best known as the front woman for haze-pop band Beast Patrol, according to her website. Beast Patrol’s “Plaster,” a deeply personal song off the album “Fierce & Grateful,” was featured in Rolling Stone in 2012.
Ms. Bley also collaborated with the co-founder of Sade, saxophonist and guitarist Stuart Matthewman, and they released a self-titled album in 2014 as “Twin Danger.” The album reached No. 1 on the iTunes Jazz Chart, and was described as “The Sound Of Frank Sinatra Meets The Clash” by NPR.
Music magazine Downbeat said Ms. Bley’s vocals had “a femme fatal quality that is breathy and slightly unsettling, as if her voice isn’t revealing everything she knows.”
Along with scoring film and art installations, Ms. Bley recorded two solo albums. Her last album, “Colors,” was her first album of improvised solo piano music, which she released in 2017.
Ms. Bley was married to Max Gleason of Solvang with two children.
The fatal collision occurred around 4:45 p.m. Friday. A Chevy Camaro driven by 28-year-old John Roderick Dungan, of Santa Barbara, was westbound on the 154 approaching Cold Spring Canyon Bridge. A Chevrolet Volt driven by Rebecca Bley, with two young children in the backseat, was eastbound, followed by a GMC Yukon driven by a 55-year-old Los Gatos man.
“The Chevy Camaro traveled into the eastbound lane, causing the front of the Camaro to collide with the front of the Chevy Volt,” Capt. Cindy Pontes, spokeswoman for the California Highway Patrol, said in a news release. “The GMC swerved to the right and collided with the Volt. The Volt and the GMC came to rest on the south shoulder where they both caught fire, ultimately causing a brush fire.”
The Camaro came to rest in the eastbound lane on the bridge.
Ms. Bley and the two children in the Volt were pronounced dead at the scene. The driver and 13-year-old passenger in the Yukon, whose names were withheld, were not injured. Mr. Dungan suffered major injuries and was airlifted to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.
The identities of the two children are pending DNA confirmation.
A two-acre brush fire broke out as a result of the collision. The fire was quickly doused by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.