Friday, September 21 , 2018, 3:22 am | Overcast 65º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Paso Robles Man Dies When Vehicle Plunges Off Highway 154

Firefighters rappel down 300-foot cliff to recover victim, two dogs

A Paso Robles man was killed Friday when his pickup truck plunged 300 feet off Highway 154 and landed on its roof in a creek bed, authorities said early Saturday. The accident occurred just east of Whitaker’s Curve near Windy Gap on the Santa Barbara side of San Marcos Pass.

The victim was identified early Saturday as George Glisson, 60, of Paso Robles. Also in the vehicle were two dogs, one of which died in the crash. The second dog was uninjured.

The accident happened about 5:30 p.m. in hot, windy conditions. According to the California Highway Patrol, witnesses said the white Ford F-250 pickup was traveling eastbound at 55-60 mph when the truck drifted into the westbound lane as it entered a sweeping right-hand curve. The CHP said Glisson veered back to the right and the vehicle drove off the pavement, through a dirt area and over the steep embankment.

“Witnesses said the vehicle just lost control,” Santa Barbara County Fire Capt. David Sadecki, a department spokesman, told Noozhawk.

County firefighters and a sheriff’s Search and Rescue team had to rappel down the cliff to reach the accident site. Glisson, who was wearing a seatbelt, was pronounced dead at the scene, as was one of the dogs.

The uninjured dog was recovered by rescuers and transported to CARE Animal Hospital by a state Department of Fish and Game officer.

Glisson’s body was recovered from the vehicle about 9:30 p.m., Sadecki said.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation. Late Friday, crews stopped working for safety reasons, and Sadecki said the vehicle recovery will resume Saturday morning.

Three fire engines, a rescue helicopter, Search and Rescue and Los Padres National Forest rangers participated in the recovery.

Firefighters arrived at the scene about 10 minutes after the accident, and authorities closed the highway for an hour. The westbound lane was reopened about 6:30 p.m. but there will be one-way traffic control through the accident area overnight Friday.

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

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Email
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership
×

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >