Car-Crash Fatalities Spike Outside Lompoc

CHP Cites Speeding and Distracted Driving

Folks living along the freshly paved Highway 1 between Highway 101 and Lompoc saw three fatal car accidents in one week along a five-mile stretch. The most recent, around 2:20 p.m. on September 24, killed Lompoc’s Linda Bailey, 72, as she drifted into the opposite lane, striking an oncoming pickup, whose two occupants were reportedly uninjured. Oxnard resident Alfredo Martinez, 73, died on September 21 when his pickup was struck head-on by Lompoc resident Bryan P. Charette, 35, who was reportedly intoxicated, speeding, and making illegal passing maneuvers, according to authorities. On September 17, Elaine Ventura, 66, died after drifting into the oncoming lane, colliding with a van driven by Juan Romero, 47, who sustained major injuries. “On that one, all signs point to cell phone use,” said a CHP spokesperson. A fourth accident, with no fatalities, occurred Tuesday morning.