Tuesday, September 1 , 2015, 6:15 pm | Fair 73.0º




Canadian Couple Remain in Critical Condition After Motorcycle Crash

Pair from Orangeville, Ontario, collided head-on with an SUV on Old Coast Highway; driver Martin Maguire of Montecito arrested on DUI charges

The wreckage of a motorcycle is strewn along the side of Old Coast Highway near Montecito on Wednesday evening after an accident that severely injured a couple on the bike. The driver of an SUV that struck them head-on was arrested on felony DUI charges, according to Santa Barbara police.

The wreckage of a motorcycle is strewn along the side of Old Coast Highway near Montecito on Wednesday evening after an accident that severely injured a couple on the bike. The driver of an SUV that struck them head-on was arrested on felony DUI charges, according to Santa Barbara police.  (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

By Gina Potthoff, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @ginapotthoff updated logo 6:25 p.m. |

A Canadian couple who were severely injured when they collided head-on with an SUV near Montecito remained in critical condition Thursday, according to Santa Barbara police.

Emergency crews responded to the collision in the 800 block of Old Coast Highway, near Montecito Country Club, at about 5:20 p.m. Wednesday, said Sgt. Riley Harwood.

The married couple riding the motorcycle — James Atwood, 63, and his wife, Ellen, 59, from Orangeville in Ontario, Canada — suffered major injuries, said Officer Jaycee Hunter. Both were both taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

Authorities have said both victims are expected to survive but have very severe injuries to their left legs. Earlier reports indicated at least one of them suffered an amputated arm.

The collision occurred as the pair was following another couple from Ontario on a motorcycle westbound on Old Coast Highway, Hunter said.

When the Toyota 4Runner SUV crossed over the center line, the first motorcycle was able to swerve out of the way, but the second was struck head-on, Hunter said.

The driver of the SUV — Martin Maguire, 51, of Montecito — was arrested on felony DUI charges, said Hunter, who added that the suspect appeared to be under the influence of several substances.

Maguire was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail, with bail set at $100,000, Lt. Paul McCaffrey said.

“It’s a horrible thing,” Hunter said. “Just two couples out having fun, and the day ended in a horrific manner.”

Immediately following the collision, several bystanders rendered aid to the couple, who had shipped their Harley-Davidson bike down from Canada with the intent of taking an extended tour of the United States, McCaffrey said.

One of those bystanders, an Army soldier recently deployed in Afghanistan, “applied a tourniquet to one of the injured riders that possibly saved their life due to massive bleeding,” he said.

Old Coast Highway was closed for several hours while the wreck was being investigated and the wreckage cleared.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.




comments powered by Disqus

» on 05.30.13 @ 11:30 AM

Drunk driving should be a serious crime.  He’ll end up with minimal time and be driving drunk before you know it- what a country!

» on 05.30.13 @ 01:53 PM

Man, those poor Canadians.  What a horrible thing to happen…and in the US with our fabulous health care system which will save them but bleed them dry in the process.

» on 05.30.13 @ 03:55 PM

Sure, native lets send em back to Canada where they can die waiting for a doctor, that’s a lot better huh?

» on 05.30.13 @ 05:11 PM

It seems like drunk driving prevention isn’t getting better. Probably a rich guy from Montecito. $100,000 bail isn’t much to pony up and get out for these types.

» on 05.30.13 @ 05:52 PM

AN50 is always so quick to provide a kneejerk reaction to dampen down anything that might question the ways our system lags behind the rest of the industrialized world.

» on 05.30.13 @ 08:22 PM

@AN50—-FYI, we travel every summer in the northwest and along the Canadian border.  I ask every Canadian I meet the campgrounds if they come to the US for medical care.  I have never had anyone say “yes”...I have had several say that they travel across the US to get to their summer home on the other side of Canada because our GAS is cheaper than theirs.  Medical care—NOT!

» on 05.30.13 @ 10:21 PM

Best of wishes and hope for the best outcome possible for our Canadian visitors.
  How very telling of An50 to perpetuate a myth , basically a lie , about Canadian health programs when these two people are fighting for their lives.

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