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Police Identify Woman Who Died in Fall Off Hood of Car

Boyfriend faces charges in the death of 41-year-old Isabel Tole Renosa of Santa Barbara

The Santa Barbara Police Department has released the name of the woman who died last weekend after falling off the hood of a car on Sycamore Canyon Road.

Isabel Tole Renosa, 41, of Santa Barbara, sustained trauma injuries after falling off a car driven by 53-year-old Dennis Wayne Gibbons, who was arrested after the incident.

Police said the pair were dating at the time of her death.

A police statement issued Tuesday revealed additional information about the events leading up to Renosa’s death, which occurred last Saturday.

It said the pair drove up Sycamore Canyon Road in Gibbons’ 1994 Mercury Marquee, passing the roundabout at APS to the gate that blocks traffic. They parked in the area for a while, but at 4:10 p.m., Gibbons began driving back down the road while Renosa was still on the hood, although the reason remains unclear.

“At one point, Gibbons slowed to a near stop and commented to a local resident about Renosa being a hood ornament,” the statement said. Renosa didn’t comment during the encounter with the witness, and fell from the vehicle when Gibbons continued driving down the road.

Renosa received fatal injuries from the fall, and Gibbons stopped the vehicle to help her, calling 9-1-1 at 4:12 p.m.

Paramedics and fire rescue responded to the call. Police and traffic collision specialists investigated the scene and believe Gibbons was traveling at an unsafe speed when Renosa fell from the hood.

Police said the pair have a history of drug use, and authorities believe Gibbons demonstrated symptoms of being under the influence of illegal drugs. Small amounts of suspected crack cocaine, marijuana and controlled drugs were found in his vehicle.

Gibbons was arrested on charges of vehicular manslaughter, felony DUI causing death, drug possession charges, allowing a passenger to ride in an unsafe manner, and unsafe speed. Bail was set at $100,000.

The Santa Barbara County sheriff’s coroner is conducting an investigation on Renosa’s death and will obtain a toxicological drug screen.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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