Wednesday, October 7 , 2015, 2:08 am | Fair 57º

Bill Macfadyen: NoozWeek’s Top 5 Takes a Crash Course, But Clunks the Road Test

2 motorcycle wrecks, 2 broken legs, then there’s a damaged building, a brush fire west of UC Santa Barbara and a woman-on-woman attempted murder

By William M. Macfadyen, Noozhawk Publisher | @noozhawk |

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.
We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream.
It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same,
or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children, and our children’s children, what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

President Ronald Reagan

Happy birthday, America.

                                                                        •        •

There were 64,174 people who read Noozhawk this past week. What were your top stories?

1. Major Injuries Reported in Highway 101 Motorcycle Crash Near Patterson Avenue in Goleta

A motorcyclist trying to avoid slowing traffic on Highway 101 slammed into a car near Patterson Avenue on June 30, breaking his leg and stopping traffic outright.

California Highway Patrol Officer John Gutierrez said the 38-year-old man was riding his motorcycle just after 2:30 p.m. when northbound traffic started to slow through Goleta. He said the motorcyclist veered to the right, right into the back of a vehicle.

Gutierrez said the motorcyclist was transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital with a broken leg. The man’s name was not released.

2. SUV Hits Building in Old Town Goleta After Multivehicle Crash

A three-vehicle collision in Old Town Goleta resulted in only minor injuries but one of the vehicles, an SUV, ended up crashing into a nearby building.

Santa Barbara County fire Engineer Russ Sechler said the wreck happened about 4 p.m. June 28 at the intersection of Hollister and Kellogg avenues.

Those injured were treated at the scene Sechler said.

A 20-acre brush fire at Coal Oil Point may have been sparked by fireworks, but authorities have been unable to determine that for sure. (Mike Eliason / Santa Barbara County Fire Department photo)
A 20-acre brush fire at Coal Oil Point may have been sparked by fireworks, but authorities have been unable to determine that for sure. (Mike Eliason / Santa Barbara County Fire Department photo)

3. Fire at Coal Oil Point near Isla Vista 70% Contained

A brush fire burned 20 acres at Coal Oil Point west of Isla Vista after it ignited the night of June 26. There were no injuries and no structures were damaged in the blaze, much of which was within the 158-acre Coal Oil Point Reserve.

The fire was fully contained the next night, and county fire Engineer Russ Sechler told our Tom Bolton that the cause of the blaze has been listed as “unknown origin/undetermined.”

A witness told investigators that “it appeared there were fireworks going off in the area prior to the fire,” Sechler said.

The Coal Oil Point Reserve is home to many endangered and threatened plant and wildlife species, including the western snowy plover.

Reserve and UC Santa Barbara officials were assessing the damage but the results are not all bad.

“We feel there are great research opportunities,” said reserve director Cristina Sandoval, who told our Giana Magnoli the area was “overdue” for a fire.

4. Santa Maria Woman Faces Attempted Murder Charge After Stabbing

An altercation between two 29-year-old Santa Maria women put one in the hospital and the other in jail.

Felicia Ann Donaldson: Ouch. (Santa Maria Police Department photo)
Felicia Ann Donaldson: Ouch. (Santa Maria Police Department photo)

Police Sgt. Rob Morris said officers were called to a home in the 700 block of North East Avenue in north Santa Maria the evening of June 30. He said they found one woman, Christina Sendejas, with several stab wounds to her head and the back of her neck, and another woman, Felicia Ann Donaldson, standing in the front yard.

Based on the 9-1-1 description, Morris said, Donaldson was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. She was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail.

Based on the severity of her wounds, Sendejas was placed in a helicopter and flown to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

According to Morris, Sendejas told investigators that Donaldson had stabbed her for no reason.

5. Motorcyclist Severely Injured in Santa Ynez Valley Crash

A Morro Bay man was seriously injured when, according to authorities, he ran a stop sign in Santa Ynez and crashed his motorcycle into the back of a car.

According to the California Highway Patrol, Steven York, 51, was driving his Harley-Davidson motorcycle north on Edison Street the afternoon of July 1. CHP Officer John Ortega said he failed to stop at the Pine Street sign and slammed into a Volkswagen Jetta that was crossing the intersection near Santa Ynez Valley Charter School.

The collision left York with a compound leg fracture. He was transported to the Santa Ynez Airport and then flown by a CalStar helicopter to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

The car’s driver, Eleanor Gribbin, 80, of Santa Ynez, was uninjured in the wreck.

Ortega said alcohol and drugs do not appear to be involved, but the investigation is continuing.

                                                                        •        •

Friends of mine in Romero Canyon had a similar bear encounter a few years ago. Unfortunately, they didn't get video.  

(KTLA video)

                                                                  •        •        •

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— Bill Macfadyen is Noozhawk’s founder and publisher. Contact him at [email protected], follow him on Twitter: @noozhawk, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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