Victim in deadly crash near Santa Barbara City College identified

911 call prior to crash reported a reckless driver

Emergency crews responded to a car crash into a wall and bus that killed a 72-year old woman. (Henry Galvan/KEYT photo)


The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Coroner's Office has identified the victim in a deadly crash near Cliff Drive and Rancheria Street as 72-year-old Santa Barbara resident Susan McKnight.

No further details were immediately known.



A female driver has died after colliding with a wall and an MTD city bus near Cliff Drive and Rancheria Street in Santa Barbara Wednesday.

Santa Barbara police closed part of the roadway while emergency crews attended to the injured victims and worked to control a reported spill from one of the vehicles involved in the crash. Police also worked with Santa Barbara City College security to divert traffic coming out of the college.

The road was closed for several hours while the incident was being investigated. Route No. 5 is servicing the Santa Barbara Westside and City College area with another city bus.

The collision was reported at about 10:30 a.m. An MTD city bus and a late model Mercedes collided with each other. Approximately 14 passengers were on board the bus at the time of the collision.

None of the passengers were injured, however, the MTD bus driver suffered minor injuries. He was taken to Cottage Hospital for further medical attention. The MTD bus and the Mercedes were impounded by police as part of the investigation.

MTD operation staff and risk management personnel are actively involved in the investigation.

The driver of the Mercedes, a woman said to be 72 years old, suffered multiple and severe injuries, according to Santa Barbara police. She was rushed to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital by an AMR ambulance but later died. Her identity has not been released. (Note: the original broadcast report used preliminary information that the woman was in her mid 50's. It has been revised)

Our news crew on scene reported that medical personnel was conducting CPR on the driver before being taken to the hospital.

Additional details released by the Santa Barbara Police Department reveals that a 911 call was placed to police dispatch prior to the crash, which reported a reckless driver near the scene of the wreck. Investigators are trying to determine if the driver of the Mercedes is the same driver that was initially reported in the 911 call.

Police say it appears the driver of the Mercedes crashed into a rock wall and safety guardrail just before colliding with the bus. The driver-side of the Mercedes impacted the right side of the bus, police said. 

About 14 SBPD officers are on scene investigating the collision. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office will join the investigation and assist with evidence gathering. Video from the in-bus camera will be analyzed as part of the investigation.

Police have also extended their investigation to the Mesa Fuel Depot gas station where it's believed the driver of the Mercedes was prior to the collision. Video from gas station cameras is being inspected as part of the investigation.

The street was closed until 5:30 p.m. Traffic was rerouted through the waterfront and local neighborhoods including hundreds of cars coming and going to Santa Barbara City College.

Crews cleaned up all the fluids and absorbents prior to traffic returning. 

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