Two Santa Maria residents killed in Highway 154 crash identified


The Santa Barbara County Coroner's Office has identified the two people killed on Tuesday's Highway 154 crash as Santa Maria residents, Ashley Lynn Aparicio, 34, and 23-year-old Rodolfo Jesus Jimenez.

Aparicio was the driver, Jimenez the passenger, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.



Two people were killed in a violent crash on Highway 154 near Painted Cave Road Tuesday afternoon.

The crash occurred just after 2:30 p.m. and it involved a black Honda Civic and a black Dodge Ram pickup truck, according to the California Highway Patrol. 

Two other people were hurt in the crash.

The Honda was traveling eastbound on Highway 154 when the driver lost control and drove directly into the path of the pickup as it traveled on the westbound side of the highway, according to a CHP traffic collision report.

"After the first collision the Honda was propelled against the south side of state Route 154, against a dirt embankment," states the report. The Honda's driver and passenger were pronounced dead at the scene by emergency personnel.

The two victims in the deadly crash have not been identified at this time pending notification of next of kin. Canyon Lake residents, Michael and Lisa Franken, were also hurt in the crash. CHP says their injuries consisted of chest pains and minor lacerations. They were taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital with moderate injuries.

The westbound lanes of Highway 154 at the crash site were blocked, according to CHP. Eastbound lanes remained open but westbound lanes were closed until crews could clear the roadway of debris. All lanes opened shortly after 5 p.m.

It's unknown if alcohol and/or drugs were a contributing factor in the collision. It was raining in the area at the time of the crash. The cause of the crash is under investigation by the California Highway Patrol.

We will update this story when new information becomes available.

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