Santa Maria - North County

Identities of man, woman killed in multi-fatal crash on Highway 166 released

Small Honda sedan hits oil tanker head-on


The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office has identified the two people killed on a stretch of Highway 166 near New Cuyama as 52-year-old Jimmy Riley of Solvang and 34-year-old Ronamarie Molon of Santa Maria.


The California Highway Patrol released its collision report in a deadly crash on Highway 166 that occurred over the weekend near New Cuyama.

The report says a 52-year-old man was driving a 2016 Honda Civic eastbound on Highway 166 near Hubbard Avenue in the town of New Cuyama with a woman passenger at the time of the crash. A 64-year-old truck driver from Shafter, California was also driving on Highway 166 in the opposite direction.

CHP says that for unknown reasons, the Honda driver went across a two-way left turn lane and into the westbound lane of traffic directly in the path of the Freightliner tractor pulling a tanker trailer. The truck driver was unable to avoid the crash and both drivers collided head-on.

CHP says both, the driver and passenger of the Civic, were "unrestrained" at the time of the crash and both suffered fatal, blunt force trauma injuries. The woman was ejected from the car onto the roadway, according to CHP.

Neither of the individuals traveling in the Honda Civic has been identified until their families are notified.

The truck driver lost control of his semitrailer during the collision and crashed through a wooden fence before coming to a stop on Primero Street "facing in a southwesterly direction," the collision report says.

The truck driver was flown to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital with minor injuries that included pain to the abdomen.

CHP continues investigating the Civic driver's sobriety at the time of the crash and the reason for traveling into oncoming traffic.


California Highway Patrol is investigating a vehicle collision with multiple fatalities on Highway 166 that occurred Sunday afternoon near New Cuyama.

Santa Barbara County Fire responded to a vehicle crash on Highway 166 near Hubbard Avenue in New Cuyama with two fire trucks and a CalStar helicopter around 4:29 p.m.

When crews arrived, they discovered a head-on collision between a small Honda sedan and an oil tanker. A man and a woman in the car, both in their 40s, were pronounced dead at the scene. The woman was ejected from the car upon impact.

The driver of the oil tanker suffered major injuries in the crash, according to County Fire officials. He was transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

Highway 166 was closed in both directions while crews investigated. As of 5:30 p.m. the highway was still shut down while crews continued clearing the wreckage.

This story has been updated with the most recent information.

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