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Woman Killed in Collision with Tractor in Orcutt

Crash occurred in the 200 block of East Rice Ranch Road

One person was killed Thursday evening in a collision in Orcutt involving a sedan and a farm tractor.
One person was killed Thursday evening in a collision in Orcutt involving a sedan and a farm tractor. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

A Santa Maria woman was killed Thursday evening after being ejected when the sedan she was driving collided with a farm tractor in a rural area of Orcutt, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The accident was reported shortly after 6 p.m. in the 200 block of East Rice Ranch Road, near Graciosa Road.

According to a witness, the silver Plymouth sedan, driven by Tamira T. Johnston, 54, was westbound on Rice Ranch Road when it came around a curve at a high-rate of speed, CHP Officer Mike Trenery said.

The car crossed into the opposite lane where the tractor pulling a farm implement was eastbound.

The sedan slid into the curb, bounced toward the tractor, and sideswiped the front of the farm vehicle. The impact caused the car to spin.

"Per the witnesses, the vehicle spun around three times," Trenery said. "During the three times the vehicle spun around, we believe the driver's side door was ripped off, and the driver was ejected."

The driver of the sedan was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Capt. Dave Zaniboni of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

A CalStar helicopter was dispatched to the scene, but was later canceled after it was determined the victim had died.

The CHP said  Johnston was not wearing her seat belt.

The driver of the tractor, Danny J. Vincent Jr., 34, of Santa Maria, was not injured, Trenery said.

Initial reports said the crash also included a bicycle, but it was not involved in the incident and belonged to a witness, Trenery added.

Rice Ranch Road was shut down in the area for a time, but was later reopened.

Thursday's crash site was just yards away from where three teenage boys were killed in 2004 when a driver lost control of a vehicle which was sliced in half after slamming into a light pole in the 100 block of East Rice Ranch Road.

Two Righetti High School students were pronounced dead at the scene, and a junior high school student died a few days later from his injuries. 

A fourth boy in the vehicle survived the crash, but died more than five years later in a West Clark Avenue crash involving a friend who was later charged with drunken driving and manslaughter.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully 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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