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Local News

Bill Macfadyen: Malibu Woman Didn’t Stand a Chance in Collision with Highway 101 Palm Tree

NoozWeek’s Top 5 tracks another train death in Montecito and fights a fire in Old Town Goleta before returning to a crash flow

Yes, it’s as bad as it looks. Click to view larger
Yes, it’s as bad as it looks. (Urban Hikers / Noozhawk photo)

Seven down, four to go.

Thank you to all of you who sent best wishes our way on the occasion of Noozhawk’s 10th anniversary. We’re grateful for how far we’ve come over this past decade, but we’re even more excited about what’s ahead of us.

I expect to get a glimpse of that future this next week when Kim Clark, one of my business partners, and I head to Chicago for the annual Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers conference. Noozhawk is a proud founding member of LION, and Kim, our business development vice president, serves on its Board of Directors.

The trail for professional local news in the age of New Media is still being blazed. I don’t know if Noozhawk is the exact model that everyone will be following in 2027, but I know that quite a lot of what we do — and why — will be in that final iteration. Not only are we in the ballpark, we’re running around on the base paths.

Given what we hope to achieve with our freshly launched Reimagine: Santa Barbara series, Noozhawk is in the right place at the right time.

Meanwhile, we’re still on a home-run tear with readers, with our Google Analytics reporting 129,768 of you this past week.

Here’s my take on your Top 5 stories:

1. Woman Killed in Highway 101 Crash in Santa Barbara

An early morning crash claimed the life of a 28-year-old woman whose car slammed into a palm tree alongside Highway 101 in downtown Santa Barbara on Oct. 13.

Jordan Conklin was the mother of two young children. Click to view larger
Jordan Conklin was the mother of two young children. (Facebook photo)

According to Santa Barbara fire Battalion Chief Robert Mercado, the wreck occurred at 1:15 a.m. near the southbound Garden Street exit ramp. The vehicle split apart on impact, propelling the engine about 50 feet from what remained of the car.

“It hit the tree with such impact that it sheered off the front of the vehicle,” Mercado said.

The victim — later identified as Jordan Marie Conklin, a mother of two young children with ties to both Atascadero and Malibu — was pronounced dead at the scene. It took firefighters quite a while to extricate her remains from the wreckage.

The California Highway Patrol is investigating the cause and circumstances of the crash. It has not been determined if alcohol or drugs were involved, but Mercado suggested Conklin may have fallen asleep or blacked out.

“There were no skid marks, which leads me to believe there was no conscious effort to stop,” he said.

A family friend has started a GoFundMe page to help raise money for Conklin’s children. Click here to make an online donation.

2. Man Struck, Killed by Amtrak Train While Walking on Railroad Tracks in Montecito

A 46-year-old Santa Barbara man was struck and killed by an Amtrak passenger train the morning of Oct. 14 as he walked on the railroad tracks near Eucalyptus Lane in Montecito.

The Santa Barbara County Coroner’s Office identified the dead man as Timothy Manning Sanchez, and said the circumstances of his death remain under investigation.

“The train engineer observed the subject on the tracks and activated the horn, whistle and braking system, but the subject did not respond and was struck by the train,” said sheriff’s Sgt. Brad Welch, who added that emergency personnel were called out at 10:23 a.m.

A rosary is scheduled for 7 p.m. Oct. 20 at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church, 21 E. Sola St. in Santa Barbara. A funeral mass will be held at the church at 9 a.m. Oct. 21.

Arrangements are by Welch-Ryce-Haider Funeral Chapels.

Click here for suicide prevention resources and information that are available 24/7.

3. Structure Fire Damages 2 Old Town Goleta Businesses

Old Town Goleta fireworks. Click to view larger
Old Town Goleta fireworks. (Zack Warburg / Noozhawk photo)

A fire that started in a storage area in Old Town Goleta the night of Oct. 17 quickly spread to two nearby businesses, badly damaging both.

Santa Barbara County Fire Department spokesman Vince Agapito said the blaze was discovered at 7 p.m. behind Foot Therapy Center, at 5897 Hollister Ave., and Eric Krebs Automotive, which is at 234 Orange Ave. across the alleyway from PePe’s Mexican Restaurant.

Fire officials summoned reinforcements, and eventually there were 30 firefighters, seven engines and one truck company on the scene.

Southern California Edison crews also were called out to tend to power lines that officials believe buckled and fell as a result of the flames.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. No injuries were reported.

“There was exterior fire damage due to the exposure to flames for both businesses, and extensive smoke damage to the foot and body massage business,” Agapito said.

During the fire, sheriff’s deputies evacuated The Mercury Lounge and Noodle City, which share the single-story Foot Therapy Center building.

4. 2 Killed in Motorcycle Crash on Highway 101 in Santa Ynez Valley

The driver of a three-wheeled motorcycle and his passenger died on Highway 101 north of Buellton on Oct. 15 after he apparently took a curve too fast and struck the center divider.

The California Highway Patrol said Raymond Lee Ryals, 84, of Arroyo Grande, was driving a 2007 Honda Goldwin Trike south at an unknown speed just before 8 a.m. Near the Highway 154 interchange west of Los Olivos, he lost control after failing to negotiate a curve.

CHP officials said Ryals was ejected when the trike collided with the metal guardrail in the center divider. His passenger — identified by the CHP as Solrun L. Cammarta, 77, of Thousand Oaks — also was ejected.

Both were pronounced dead at the scene.

5. Major Injuries Reported in Collision at Castillo and Arrellaga Streets in Santa Barbara

Out of step on the brake dance, evidently. Click to view larger
Out of step on the brake dance, evidently. (Zack Warburg / Noozhawk photo)

Two people were injured, one seriously, in an Oct. 13 midday rear-end collision on Castillo Street at the Arrellaga Street stop sign in Santa Barbara.

Fire Battalion Chief Mike De Ponce said a pickup truck plowed into the back of a sedan that was stopped at the intersection around 12:15 p.m.

The pickup driver, a man in his late 20s or early 30s, suffered major injuries, and was taken by American Medical Response ambulance to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

The car’s driver also was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

The men’s identities and details of their medical conditions were not available.

Santa Barbara police are investigating the crash.

                                                                  •        •        •

Last Year on Noozhawk

What was our most-read story this time last year? 3-Story Summerland Home Destroyed by Wind-Whipped 4-Alarm Fire.

                                                                 •        •        •

Bill Macfadyen’s Story of the Week

This would make for a great Noozhawk Nest: Giant Bird’s Nest in Kenya Lets Safari Guests Sleep Luxuriously Above the Trees.

                                                                  •        •        •

Watch It

The Dodgers’ Kiké Hernández went bananas at the plate the night of Oct. 19 as Los Angeles made an emphatic claim to the National League championship and the team’s first appearance in the World Series in 29 years. But his ap-peel is real. Just ask minions Justin Turner and Joc Pederson.

(TMOluvsSports video)

                                                                  •        •        •

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— 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.

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