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Hwy 154 Accident
updated: Sep 09, 2010, 5:49 AM

Update: Here's an article confirming the fatality

From Roger

There was a major accident on Hwy 154 east of lake Cachuma late Wednesday with multiple injured patients. Injuries 3 green tag, one red, one yellow.

Tags mean: Red tag needs immediate treatment but who has a chance of survival. Yellow tag: someone who needs to be under observation. Green tag: Walking wounded. White Tag: Requires no medical help at all. Black tag: Injuries are so extensive they are not expected to survive.

From CHP

Traffic Collision - Ambulance Responding
info as of:9/8/2010 11:23:45 PM

11:06PM1039 3-S3, TRFC IS CLR
10:46PMPER SBSO - HAVE 3 VEHS, 5 PATIENTS-ONE 1180, 1181 S , ALL VEHS 1125, 3 ENG,AND 3 1141 S
10:37PM1039 FRAZIERS FOR 2 1185S
10:30PMMEDICS 1097
11:14PMCHP Unit On

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 103720 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-09 06:56 AM

Thank you CHP, wonderful news since we are planning to move to Santa Ynez and will be using the pass. I really hate the drivers on my tail when I drive the speed limit there. The commuters need to leave 10 min. earlier and chill.


 COMMENT 103724P agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-09 07:00 AM

If you are moving to SY, I strongly recommend that you not take the pass.

My family has lived in the valley for three generations. We've always had working ties to Santa Barbara and we've been involved in at least 6 serious accidents on Hwy. 154 over that time span, miraculously without serious injury.

We now take Hwy 101 whenever possible.

And just FYI, it's not the commuters that are causing the problems. They know how to drive the road. It's the out of town visitors to the Casino that have made Hwy 154 a disaster and a terrifying place to drive.


 COMMENT 103725 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-09 07:02 AM

I am assuming the comment about "wonderful news" is sarcastic? I can't imagine a multiple injury accident (later with a confirmed fatality) as wonderful. I do agree that people need to chill on SMP. I would never commute on it because I don't trust the other drivers (particularly the ones speeding towards me).


 COMMENT 103726P agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-09 07:02 AM

CHP has identified victim as an Oxnard resident.


 COMMENT 103729 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-09 07:12 AM

Oops, my comment was meant for the 154 crackdown on trucks post. It must be a little too early in the morning for me and my mouse. I would never think an accident was wonderful news. I sincerely wish all involved a speedy and complete recovery, and for the person who died, condolences to the family.


 SBCARDINAL agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-09 07:13 AM

@Patrick, I think the "wonderful news" comment was supposed to be on the 154 CHP crackdown item that's below this one.


 SBCARDINAL agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-09 07:13 AM

Well, there you go!


 COMMENT 103733 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-09 07:24 AM

To 103724P thank you for the information, sorry to hear about the accidents in your family and glad to hear there were no serious injuries.
We plan to move to SY because the traffic in Santa Barbara and Goleta seemed much worse last winter, we are at our ranch in WY for the summer and heading back your way soon. Perhaps we should rethink our plan.


 ANIMALLISTNER agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-09 07:43 AM

What a sad night night! 154 was shut down compleletly.
Recently CHP have boosted their presence since the tragic dump truck incident. MRE, Mobile Road Enforcement officers have been stopping big rigs each day that i have commuted this week. THANK you CHP for trying to keep safe drivers safe!


 COMMENT 103749P agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-09 07:54 AM

I simply won't drive the pass at night for any reason, especially not on weekend nights.

What does anyone bet that it will be found that alcohol was involved in this accident? And, if it can be known, I hope that for all accidents on 154, where the driver started from can be shown. The casino has or should have a duty, just like any bar, to keep drunks or those inebriated off the highway.


 COMMENT 103752 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-09 07:57 AM

I still vote for death toll signage on the pass. 2 days ago, I came up the pass behind a young woman in a SUV who raced to get ahead of everyone at the bottom, and then by San Antonio Creek Rd was rummaging through her purse looking for her hair brush. How do I know? Well she spent the next several miles brushing her hair, finishing with a two handed operation of putting her hair in a pony tail. I can't tell you how many times she crossed over the yellow line. We were mortified to find ourselves behind her, but it's our only way home.

I don't know what it will take to get people to drive the Pass with caution and consideration. So sad the needless loss of life.


 COMMENT 103754 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-09 08:03 AM

The casino only serves alcohol in the fine dining restaurant. It is short sighted to blame them when there are many tasting rooms and restaurants that serve it. I live on the pass and believe me commuters are just as much to blame. I am not sure what the answer is other than making 154 a toll road. Or lowering the speed limit with strict enforcement.


 COMMENT 103773P agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-09 08:34 AM

@103754 - good response to mine (...749P) Thank you.

It would be interesting to compare the accident rates on 154 before the Casino and now (comparing with 101 through Gaviota as a base to take into consideration increased population.) Anyone know how to do that, get those figures?


 COMMENT 103777P agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-09 08:42 AM

CHP can get you a fatal accident count and probably a "responded incident" count, but that will be vague as it includes everything under the sun from dead animals to fender benders. Caltrans claims it doesn't keep stats.


 COMMENT 103808 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-09 09:44 AM

I'm 70 and there have been fatal crashes on San Marcos as long as I can remember, long before the casino. Over the years I've known many commuters and residents of the area who complain and moan about "tourists" and how slow they go. Don't think for a minute that people familiar with the road don't speed, tail-gate and cause their share of accidents. They think they own the pass. JP


 COMMENT 103811 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-09 09:45 AM

Use turnouts and let faster drivers pass. It is common courtesy, safer, and the law.


 COMMENT 103812 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-09 09:51 AM

I am having a hard time understanding why people are so AGGRESSIVE on this road! I have to leave my driveway and dodge the vehicles WHIPPING around a sharp curve, going way too fast for conditions. As I am accelerating up the hill after leaving the driveway, they ride too close to my bumper, flip me off, and I can see their veins popping out with rage. What is the deal? I am going to get a bumper sticker made that reads, "Please don't kill me because YOU can't manage YOUR time well" C'mon folks, we're all just getting there. Get a bigger picture please.


 COMMENT 103814 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-09 09:52 AM

I have personally followed reckless drivers who never even get out of sight in the distance, despite their speeding and unsafe passing, In almost every case they turn into the casino, either in a hurry to lose their money or late for work. My son, who is a deputy Sheriff, worked for years in that area in an unmarked police car and had the same experience following reckless drivers to the casino. Never once were they headed for a "tasting room". The heavier traffic on 154 is a result of many factors, the larger number of reckless drivers has vastly increased since the casino expansion 6 years ago!


 COMMENT 103821 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-09 10:10 AM

Yesterday I was passed by someone who made it up to at least 85 mph. Later, I was only a couple cars behind him at the light as he was turning left into the casino. However, to be fair, I've seen speeding vehicles with "Beautiful Santa Ynez Valley" plate frames quite frequently so it's not just the casino patrons driving like idiots.


 COMMENT 103842 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-09 10:40 AM

There is absolutely no reason to use the pass unless you want to DIE. There is a great alternate route up Turnpike and North San Marcos Road. It pops you out onto the 154 and you only have to spend 3 terrifying minutes sandwiched between speeding semi's and SUV's before you hit the only reason to ever drive on that dreadful road..East and West Camino Cielo. One takes you west to Lizards Mouth and the other takes you east to Knapps..the Big Caliente Hotsprings..and irresistible 365 degree views.

For some reason I don't make it up to those roads very often. The 154 is not a road I take very willingly and I consider you crazy if you drive on it more than once a week.



 COMMENT 103843 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-09 10:41 AM

I don't have a death wish and so I use the 101. Yeah, sure, a bit longer but freeways are normally safer than two lane highways.


 COMMENT 103845 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-09 10:45 AM

In the past two month I recall five fatal accidents on the pass. All of them did were not caused by excessive speed. Two months ago people died in three separate accident in a week. One lady crossed the road and hit a Semi, one man hit a rock and flipped his car, and another drunk crossed the line. Then last month another one of those gravel trucks that always slow the pass flattened three people in a house. Now last nite another vehicle crossed the line and killed. So tell me how the CHP putting up more speed traps will prevent these accidents. While speeding can be dangerous it was not the cause of these five fatal accidents. This is the bandaid they do everytime someone dies to get the public off their back. The speed traps will be less in a few months and then more will die and there will be more speed traps and still nothing will ever be done. This road needs a median barrier. That is the only answer that will save lives.


 COMMENT 103851 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-09 10:55 AM

Living near the lake means we have no choice but to drive 154. Over the past 10 years the traffic has increased, especially large trucks, to the point where it is difficult to pull out of our driveway. If you think that locals are not speeding and driving recklessly on this road you are delusional. I believe people who do not know the road tend to drive slower just because they do not know what to expect around the next bend. It is those familiar with the curves and especially passing lanes that tailgate, speed, and make the road dangerous for everyone else.


 COMMENT 103854 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-09 11:04 AM

A center divider instead of barrier makes more sense to me - even if it's only by the lake where there is no runoff room.


 COMMENT 103865 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-09 11:21 AM

Thanks 103861, I do use the turnouts even if I legally am not required to do so. I would rather move over than let some crazy person ruin my whole life. The odd thing is, I have to keep doing it over and over because the speed demons keep coming along. I try to stay at or a little over the posted speed limit around those curves. I am not a slow pokey driver, I use my cruise on highways to keep my speed down to a reasonable level. Stay safe and alive out there folks!


 COMMENT 103883 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-09 12:31 PM

@103854 isn't a center divider a barrier?


 COMMENT 103895 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-09 01:11 PM

It would be interesting to see the number of accidents during commuting hours (say 6:30 to 8:30 AM & 4 to 6 PM, M-F) vs the rest of the time. There are definitely bad commuter drivers, but drinking, whether at wineries, restaurants or wherever, is also a big problem. One thing you can do, if you can get the license plate and a decent description of the vehicle (even better to get the driver too), you can call the CHP's business number and tell an officer about the incident. They will send a letter to the problem driver and let them know that they were seen, what they ddi was illegal, and the CHP will be looking for them. We've done this with both commdaily commuter problems & others. It works!


 COMMENT 103913 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-09 01:51 PM

The mistake most peole are making again is that it is speeders. While increased speeds increase risk it does not usually make you cross over a double yellow line and head on a car. Keep focusing on speeders and people will keep dying. Get a barrier up between oncoming traffic and and speeders, drunks, sleepers, texters, eaters, talkers, flat tires will not kill the innocent person coming the other way. Take a look at Hwy 17 between San Jose and Santa Cruz. Use to be a death trap til they put up the barrier. Create a solution and save lives


 COMMENT 103923P agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-09 02:29 PM

Yeah, FUNKHOUSE, there's no other reason to drive the 154 other than E/W Camino Cielo.

Oh, unless you consider the golf course, or Lake Cachuma, or Cold Spring Tavern, or...

I do believe that is the first time I have ever heard someone recommending N. San Marcos Road as a safe alternative to the 154. next you will be recommending that tourists walk along the train tracks as a short cut from downtown to the zoo.


 COMMENT 103931 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-09 03:13 PM

Just an FYI...a CHP officer told me once that they have more problems with people leaving the casino SPUN OUT and falling asleep at the wheel because they've been staring at video screens all night long, than drunk drivers. There are very, very few people who leave the casino drunk unless they brought their own alcohol. They only serve booze in the Willows restaurant, and they usually make you buy food. They don't often have a problem with people hanging out at the bar getting drunk. I am not condoning the casino's existence, however...I know several people who gamble away their weekly paychecks and owe their families tens of thousands of dollars. I just want to get the record straight that the people leaving the casino are not drunk, they are spun out from staying up all night then driving home in the dark...as with any casino, there are no windows and people lose track of time!


 COMMENT 103941P agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-09 04:08 PM

V C Section 21656 - Turning Out of Slow Moving Vehicles
On a two-lane highway where passing is unsafe because of traffic in the opposite direction or other conditions, a slow-moving vehicle, including a passenger vehicle, behind which five or more vehicles are formed in line, shall turn off the roadway at the nearest place designated as a turnout by signs erected by the authority having jurisdiction over the highway, or wherever sufficient area for a safe turnout exists, in order to permit the vehicles following it to proceed. As used in this section a slow-moving vehicle is one which is proceeding at a rate of speed less than the normal flow of traffic at the particular time and place.


 COMMENT 103972 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-09 06:48 PM

I agree with 103913. I wish all drivers would take some time, and come to the track with me to learn about car control. I wish we had a federal driving school and it mandated learning car control and was stricter about giving licenses, as do many European nations.


 COMMENT 103976 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-09 06:57 PM

COMMENT 103883

It is - a barrier preventing my untimely death due to a (fill in the blank) driver.


 COMMENT 103984 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-09 07:39 PM

Treat it like the grade going over the pass outside of San Luis Obispo - divided highway with concrete barriers.


 COMMENT 103994 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-09 09:14 PM

I drive the pass a minimum of twice a day, sometimes 4 times a day. I drive in the morning, late at night... I have driven this road for over 20 years. I have never had an accident, thank goodness!

But the issue really is people being impatient, wanting to pass unsafely...is it really that important to get there 5 minutes faster?

Slow down, pay attention, and don't drink and drive...


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