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Driver killed in Hwy 154 head-on collision identified as Solvang woman

Driver killed in Hwy 154 head-on collision identified as Solvang woman

DNA being used to identify children killed in crash


The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office has identified a Solvang woman who died Friday in a head-on collision on Highway 154 that also ignited a 2-acre wildfire near the Cold Spring Bridge. 

Rebecca Vanessa Goss Bley, 34, of Solvang was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, along with two children who have yet to be identified, according to sheriff's spokeswoman Raquel Zick. 

DNA samples from the children involved in the crash will be sent to the Sacramento County Coroner's Office, where an ANDE Rapid DNA System will be utilized to confirm their identities, Zick said. 

John Roderick Dungan, 28, from Santa Barbara was driving a 2014 Chevrolet Camaro westbound on Highway 154 at an unknown speed approaching the Cold Spring Bridge about 4:45 p.m. Friday when his car crossed the center line into oncoming traffic, according to the California Highway Patrol report. 

The Camaro smashed head-on into a 2013 Chevrolet Volt being driven by Bley and carrying two small children in the backseat, according to investigating CHP Officer John Darker.

While the Camaro slid forward until coming to a stop on the bridge in the eastbound lane of the highway, a GMC Yukon following the Volt swerved right to avoid the crash but struck the Volt, sending both vehicles onto the south shoulder of the highway, Darker’s report said.

Both the Volt and Yukon burst into flames, starting a wildfire that began burning up the side of the mountain. Crews from County Fire and the Los Padres National Forest extinguished the blaze at 2 acres, according to Santa Barbara County Fire Department spokesman Mike Eliason.

Dungan had to be extricated from the wreckage, then was driven by an AMR ambulance to a CalSTAR helicopter that had landed west of the bridge and was airlifted to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for treatment, according to Eliason.

The 55-year-old driver of the Yukon and his 13-year-old passenger, both of Los Gatos, were uninjured, according to Darker. 

Darker said the collision is still under investigation.

A petition was created to put traffic speed monitors along Highway 154. As of Monday afternoon, more than 1,200 people have signed the petition. 


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