Saturday, April 21 , 2018, 1:58 am | Fair 55º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Advice

Bill Macfadyen: Another Fatal Motorcycle Crash Spurs Traffic While Stopping It

NoozWeek’s Top 5 trails a pre-Fiesta parade stabbing, finds a backcountry plane crash, follows a tow-truck tribute, and gets a surprise from the Santa Barbara City Council

​​​

There were 96,832 people who read Noozhawk this past week.

How does my take on your top stories make you feel? Tell me “in 3 emojis or less.”

1. Motorcyclist Killed in Highway 101 Crash in Summerland; Freeway Closure Causes Massive Traffic Jam

A 53-year-old Newhall man was killed in a motorcycle crash on Highway 101 in Summerland the afternoon of Aug. 9.

The motorcyclist, identified as Bruce Aaron Hoover, may have suffered a medical emergency just before the wreck.

According to California Highway Patrol Officer Jonathan Gutierrez, witnesses say the man was traveling southbound at about 55 mph when he “appeared to pass out and slump over his motorcycle” just east of the Evans Avenue exit.

On a motorcycle, such situations usually end badly. And it did.

Gutierrez said Hoover drifted across the left lane, struck the center-divider rail, and was ejected from the bike. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The subsequent investigation and freeway closure snarled traffic for hours afterward, backing up motorists almost to Las Positas Road in Santa Barbara and clogging surface streets through Montecito and Summerland.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation. Gutierrez said alcohol and drugs are not considered to be factors.

NoozNote: Fatal motorcycle crashes have been Noozhawk’s top weekly stories for three of the last five weeks. R.I.P. Bruce Hoover, Steve Forrest and Ryan Bollay.

Don’t mind the police crime scene tape. Viva la Fiesta! (Giana Magnoli / Noozhawk photo)
Don’t mind the police crime scene tape. Viva la Fiesta! (Giana Magnoli / Noozhawk photo)

2. Santa Barbara Police Follow Blood Trail to Find Stabbing Victim in Homeless Camp

Hours before the start of Santa Barbara’s biggest parade, Old Spanish Days’ annual El Desfile Histórico on Aug. 7, a trail of blood was discovered downtown. The gruesome evidence led to a homeless encampment a few blocks away.

According to Santa Barbara police Lt. Brent Mandrell, the trail started in the 400 block of State Street, continued down the street for two blocks, crossed over the freeway and into a homeless camp.

There, officers found a stabbing victim. The man, whose identity was not disclosed, was taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, where he was admitted in stable condition.

Mandrell said the man was not cooperative so authorities aren’t real sure just what happened, or when.

Although police tape cordoned off much of the 400 block of State Street for an hour or so, municipal Public Works Department crews had cleaned up the area well before Fiesta celebrants began arriving to claim the chairs and blankets they had used to stake out the parade route.

A Santa Barbara County backcountry rescue mission became a recovery operation instead. (Santa Barbara County Search & Rescue Team photo)
A Santa Barbara County backcountry rescue mission became a recovery operation instead. (Santa Barbara County Search & Rescue Team photo)

3. Two Killed When Plane Crashes in Santa Barbara Backcountry

Two San Diego men were killed Aug. 6 when their small plane crashed in the Santa Barbara County backcountry south of New Cuyama. The pilot had reported engine trouble while flying over the remote, rugged area about 10:40 p.m.

Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Kelly Hoover said a Ventura County Sheriff’s Department Air Unit helicopter located the crash site about 4:30 a.m. Aug. 7.

The Cessna 182 had gone down just north of Jameson Lake in Los Padres National Forest.

The bodies of the pilot, David Keith Martz, 58, and his passenger, Birger Greg Bacino, 54, were found in the wreckage.

Hoover said Bacino had hired Martz, a commercial pilot, to fly him to a business meeting in San Luis Obispo. They were on the way back to McClellan-Palomar Airport in Oceanside when they crashed.

The circumstances of the crash are under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration.

Just doing our jobs as journalists, we poked around a bit to see who the victims were. It turns out that both had attained their share of notoriety, which we duly noted.

A few of the men’s friends were quite cross with Noozhawk for that, however, and they let us know about it in no uncertain terms.

You can read our Tom Bolton’s follow-up story to see what the hullabaloo is all about, or you can Google their names yourself. I guarantee you it won’t be the Noozhawk stories that come up first in the search results — or even the plane crash, for that matter.

Sergio Orozco’s tow line. (Tom Bolton / Noozhawk photo)
Sergio Orozco’s tow line. (Tom Bolton / Noozhawk photo)

4. Procession Remembers Tow Truck Driver Killed in Santa Maria​

Sergio Orozco, a 43-year-old driver for Smitty’s Towing, was killed in a tragic, horrific freak accident. In a sweet, gracious gesture, his comrades in coveralls honored him with a procession that took many locals by surprise.

Orozco died July 31 when a winch cable trapped him against the side of his truck while he was unloading a vehicle at a company storage yard in Santa Maria.

He was rushed by a medivac helicopter to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, but died of his injuries.

On Aug. 11, dozens of fellow tow truck drivers gathered at his funeral service at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church in Santa Barbara, and then got in their rigs to accompany his casket on his final run, to Calvary Cemetery.

A Santa Barbara native, Orozco is survived by his children, Jasmine and Jesse; his parents, Maria and Alfredo Orozco; and brothers Alfredo and Eddie.

Donations for the Sergio Orozco Memorial Fund can be made at any Montecito Bank & Trust branch, or click here for a Go Fund Me donation page.

5. Santa Barbara Council Blasts Appellants Trying To Block Home Remodel

Will wonders never cease. Apparently, even the Santa Barbara City Council has a breaking point with NIMBY neighbors.

Fed up with a couple who won’t take no for an answer, the council on Aug. 11 voted 6-0 — with Councilman Bendy White absent — to deny a second appeal of a Riviera remodel project. The council had denied an earlier appeal a few months ago.

We’ve seen this movie before, and our Josh Molina has the full story if you need the details of the saga on Mission Ridge Road.

Meanwhile, the council members got a few things off their chests by unloading on the persistent appellants.

“I regret that we have to spend this time doing this,” Councilman Dale Francisco said. “I wish that people would take this process seriously for the good of the community.”

Councilman Frank Hotchkiss called the appeal “spurious,” and Councilman Gregg Hart was just as blunt.

“This is an abuse of the appeals process,” he said.

                                                                 •        •        •

Bill Macfadyen’s Story of the Week, from my peripatetic tour of the World Wide Web: Man in Bear Costume Harrasses Bears in Alaska. Tell me this won’t have a grizzly outcome.

                                                                 •        •        •

How does a 3D printed violin sound? Pretty cool.

(Laurent Bernadac video)

                                                                  •        •        •

If you value our unmatched breaking news and in-depth reporting on the issues that you care about, please support our experienced staff of professional journalists and help us continue to provide a vital forum for the community.

How can you help?

» Join our Hawks Club.

Membership Options

 

Red-Tailed Hawk, $5 a month; Cooper’s Hawk, $10 a month; Red-Shouldered Hawk, $25 a month; Birds of a Feather, $52 a year.

Checks can be snail-mailed to Noozhawk, P.O. Box 101, Santa Barbara 93102.

» .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or market your business, organization, service or event.

» Subscribe to our free daily A.M. Report.

» Display your Noozhawk pride with a 3-inch-square Noozhawk sticker. Send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Noozhawk Promotions, P.O. Box 101, Santa Barbara 93102. The free stickers — as well as full-sized bumper stickers and pens — also are available at Noozhawk World Headquarters, 1327-A State St., by the historic Arlington Theatre.

» Like us on Facebook.

» Follow us on Twitter.

Please note that personal contributions to Noozhawk are not deductible as charitable donations.

Thank you for your support.

— 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.

  • 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 >

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 through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.


Maestro, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, Debit

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 >