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Tuesday, December 11 , 2018, 1:32 am | Fair 46º


Santa Maria Man Among 3 Killed in Crash on Highway 166 Near New Cuyama

Two SUVs collided head-on about a mile west of town; victims were 2 men and a woman

Three people were killed Sunday afternoon in a head-on collision involving two SUVs on Highway 166 near New Cuyama. Click to view larger
Three people were killed Sunday afternoon in a head-on collision involving two SUVs on Highway 166 near New Cuyama.  (Santa Barbara County Fire Department photo)

Three people, including a Santa Maria man, were killed Sunday afternoon in a head-on collision on Highway 166 near New Cuyama, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

The crash involving a Ford Escape and a Ford Explorer occurred at about 4:15 p.m. east of Bell Drive, a mile west of New Cuyama, said fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni.

Denise L. Courtis, 54, of Bakersfield was driving the Explorer; her passenger was Robert L. Swarens, 61, of Citrus Heights, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The Escape was driven by Alejandro M. Santiago, 19, of Santa Maria, who was alone in the vehicle, the CHP said.

All three suffered major blunt-force trauma and were declared dead at the scene.

The CHP said the Escape was westbound when it veered across the double-yellow lines and directly into the Explorer's path, the CHP said.

All three victim were wearing their seat belts, according to the CHP.

Highway 166 was blocked in both directions for a time after the crash.

Coroner's personnel were dispatched to the scene pick up the remains.

The crash was under investigation by the California Highway Patrol, which said it was unknown whether alcohol or drugs were a factor in the collision.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton 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.

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