Friday, July 20 , 2018, 2:03 pm | Fair 75º


Local News

Santa Maria Motorcyclist Killed in Crash in Rural Arroyo Grande

A 27-year-old Santa Maria man was killed on Christmas Day when he lost control of the motorcycle he was riding and crashed in rural Arroyo Grande, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The accident occurred at about 3:45 p.m. on Los Berros Road near Stanton Street.

A group of four riders was westbound on Los Berros at about 55 mph when the victim suddenly accelerated and slammed into the back of the lead motorcyclist, identified as Richard Tafolla, 27, of Santa Maria, the CHP said.

Both riders lost control, with Tafolla being thrown from his 2004 Yamaha to the roadway, and the second rider being ejected from his 2014 Kawasaki and slamming into a metal fence post, the CHP said.

Tafolla sustained a minor leg injury, while the second rider, whose name was not released pending notification of relatives, suffered major head and chest trauma, and was declared dead at the scene.

Both riders were wearing helmets, the CHP said, adding that it was not known if alcohol or drugs were a factor in the crash.

The accident remained under investigation by the CHP.

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.

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 Stripe below, 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
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

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.

  • 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 >