A retired Santa Barbara County sheriff’s lieutenant was killed late Saturday in a single-vehicle crash on a rural road east of Orcutt, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The road has been closed for several months due to winter storm damage.
The wreck happened shortly before 10 p.m. on Orcutt-Garey Road, just east of Dominion Road.
Ronald “Sonny” LeGault, 62, of Santa Maria, was westbound on Orcutt-Garey Road when, for unknown reasons, he drove his 2003 Ford F-150 pickup truck “off of the roadway, around barriers and directly into a sinkhole located on Orcutt Garey Road,” the CHP reported.
“Both Mr. LeGault and his vehicle came to rest inside of the sinkhole,” the CHP said. “Mr. LeGault sustained fatal injuries and his vehicle sustained moderate damage.”
LeGault was declared dead at the scene, county Fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni said.
Emergency personnel had difficulty reaching the scene due to the barriers and the washed-out roadway.
LeGault was employed at the Sheriff’s Department for 33 years before he retired in 2011, according to sheriff’s spokeswoman Kelly Hoover.
He held a number of different assignments, including North County and South Coast patrol, criminal investigations and human resources.
“Even after he retired, he continued to serve as a reserve deputy until June of 2016,” Hoover said. “The Sheriff’s Office asks that you please hold his grieving family and friends in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”
The CHP was handling the crash investigation, and the sheriff’s Coroner’s Office is conducting a death investigation, Hoover said.
— Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.