Bill Macfadyen: Shoreline Drive crash leaves one dead, seriously injured and few clues | Local news

Noozhawk is growing again.

I am delighted to introduce to you our newest team member, Lauren Hodgins, a sales and marketing assistant who will work with Haley Michaelsen under the leadership of Director of Sales Sheridan Taphorn and Vice President of Business Development Kim Clark, one of my business partners.

Lauren graduated in 2021 from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where she received her journalism degree with a major in public relations. She’s also a local, born and raised in Santa Barbara, and a proud alumnus of Carpinteria High School. In her spare time, she is an avid reader and hiker.

Lauren Hodgins
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Lauren Hodgins, of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in Noozhawk. (Hodgins family photo)

Our sales and marketing team has been extremely busy over the past two years, and we count on Lauren to help us continue on our path to growth and success in 2022, our 15th anniversary. Lauren can be reached at [email protected] or 805.456.7268.

Our press team has been equally busy, and Editor-in-Chief Giana Magnoli and Editor-in-Chief Tom Bolton, my other business partner, have been working hard to prepare for next year’s corporate reporting plans.

As I mentioned in last week’s Best of Bill column, our special plans for 2022 include investigating the explosion in fentanyl deaths in Santa Barbara County and the worsening opioid crisis. , the shortage of acute care beds for those facing a mental health crisis and the college pipeline and career preparation for local high school students. We have several more under consideration.

However, we cannot do this job without you, which is why I am asking you to contribute to our end of year fundraising campaign. Our goal is to raise $ 80,000 by December 31st and we are at $ 36,500 so far.

Are you going to make a contribution today to help Noozhawk get 2022 off to a good start?

Yes you can count on me! >

Your financial support through a membership in our Hawks Club – regardless of the amount – helps us stay focused on local news and information. you need, when you need it.

Thank you.

According to our Google Analytics, Noozhawk had an audience of 100,948 readers last week. The following is my own take on the Top 5 stories you were reading during this time.

In other words, this is my opinion column and not a news article.

A 27-year-old Santa Barbara man died of his injuries hours after crashing his van in a palm tree near the Santa Barbara City College campus on December 11, authorities said. His passenger was seriously injured in the wreckage of a single vehicle.

As our Janene Scully first reported, emergency personnel were dispatched just after midnight to the crash scene in the 700 block of Shoreline Drive. They arrived to find the crumpled Toyota truck in a palm tree in the middle of the street, in front of La Playa stadium.

Santa Barbara Police Sgt. Ethan Ragsdale said Santa Barbara firefighters had to use power tools to free the driver, who was not wearing a seat belt.

The driver – later identified as Luis A. Najera – and his 29-year-old passenger were taken by American Medical Response ambulances to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital with serious injuries.

Ragsdale said Najera died about three hours later.

The identity of her passenger has not been released, but Ragsdale told our Tom Bolton on December 13 that she remains hospitalized.

The police are investigating the cause and circumstances of the sinking.

Funeral services are on hold for Najera, whose cousin, Jessica Gomez, has opened a GoFundMe account to help her family cover her expenses. She described him as “an amazing person. He was loving, caring, outgoing and always knew how to help others and brighten the room.

As of December 17, the account had raised more than $ 14,400. Click here to donate online.

Maintenance of the refuge roads
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Refugio Road was hit hard when this week’s storm hit the coast of Gaviota. (Photo by Ray Ford / Noozhawk)

Drought-stricken Santa Barbara County experienced a record-breaking period of rain on December 13 and 14. Aside from the expected damage in the Alisal Fire burn area, the county weathered this storm remarkably well.

As our Giana Magnoli reported, total precipitation in the range of 6-8 inches was recorded in the Santa Ynez Mountains, while as much as 2 inches fell in most of the rest of the county.

Although there were periods of intensity, most of the time the rain was of the regular type that seeps deep into the ground – good for trees, lawns and, most importantly, the water table. As a result, Lake Cachuma added 612 acre-feet of water.

Things were tougher in the considerably denuded imprint of the October Alisal Fire, which burned 26 square miles from Lake Alisal in the Santa Ynez Valley, to West Camino Cielo and all the way to cliffs by the sea on the coast of Gaviota.

Before the storm, authorities had ordered the area to be evacuated due to forecasts of flooding and debris flows after the fire.

According to county public works department records, the precipitation peaks exceeded an inch per hour in the burned area, which triggered some of the damage, but not as much as feared. On December 14, public works crews spent the day clearing mud, rocks and clogged culverts all along Refugio Road.

Another storm system is expected to arrive in the county on December 21. Click here for the latest forecast from the National Weather Service.

Click here to sign up for free Noozhawk news text alerts.

John Start fishing boat
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What happened to Vuong Tran on his boat, the John Start? (Photo from TowBoatUS Ventura)

The U.S. Coast Guard suspended a multi-day search on December 10 for a missing commercial fisherman whose boat was discovered circling off Carpinteria on the afternoon of December 8.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Aidan Cooney told our Tom Bolton that the 38ft trawler John Start had been reported to be operating erratically off Loon Point, but the crews who responded did not find anyone on board when they went to check it out.

The fisherman was identified as Vuong Tran, 62, and the boat was based in Ventura Harbor.

For more than two days, the Coast Guard and other agencies searched by sea and air in an area that reached 607 square nautical miles, but found itself empty.

Before towing the John Start to Ventura, the crews of TowBoatUS Ventura recovered its partially deployed fishing gear.

An apparent transient was found dead on the morning of December 12 west of Santa Barbara station, near West Montecito Street.

Santa Barbara Police Sgt. Ethan Ragsdale told our Tom Bolton that emergency personnel were dispatched around 7:40 am to the Union Pacific Railway right-of-way where a man was discovered.

He said foul play was not suspected, but the death may have been “drug related”.

The man’s identity has been withheld pending notification from the family.

The title pretty much says it all.

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Last year on Noozhawk

What was our most read story about this time last year? Woman found dead in a vehicle on Mesa in Santa Barbara.

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Americans held hostage: Day 109

Abandoned by their government and hunted down by the Taliban, the Americans have been trapped in Afghanistan for 109 days now.

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Bill Macfadyen’s story of the week

I kind of got caught up in the vortex of mysterious satellite imagery, but HT to Noozhawk reader Carla O’Donnell for this one: The craziest, brightest, and most awesome Google Maps photos you ever got. will not believe it exists.

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Best of Bill’s Instagram

Sunrise, sunset and @sbsouthcoastchamber. They were all in my Instagram feed last week.

• • •

Check it out

“My Sweet Lord” is a wonderful video by George Harrison. There are also a few cool cameos, including one from a certain Super Starr that you might recognize.

(Video by George Harrison)

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How you can help Noozhawk

Noozhawk prides itself on being the go-to source of information for locals like you. You trust us and count on us to provide timely, relevant, and in-depth coverage of the issues that shape Santa Barbara County.

And we get up early – and stay up late – happy to report what’s going on in our community so we can keep you informed and engaged.

While most of Noozhawk’s income comes from advertising and sponsorship, we believe reader contributions are a vital source of support – financially and fundamentally. We believe that if we ask our readers to contribute what you think we are worth, we can build a sustainable business model for local news.

If you value reliable local reports, will you be supporting Noozhawk today?

Your loyalty membership helps us continue to provide you with unparalleled local news and in-depth reporting on the issues that you care.

Please note that personal contributions to Noozhawk are not deductible as charitable donations.

Thank you for your support.

– Bill Macfadyen is the founder and publisher of Noozhawk. Contact him at [email protected], follow him on Instagram: @ bill.macfadyen, or click here to read the previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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