A pair of vehicular manslaughter charges have been filed in Santa Barbara County Superior Court against a Goleta man for allegedly causing a crash that killed two Lompoc women in October, days after he pleaded guilty in a different case.

Kyle Nelson, 22, has been charged with two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated  and driving under the influence of any drug causing injury.

He also faces a sentencing enhancement for aggravating factors. 

The new charges stem from the  fiery head-on crash near Gaviota on Oct. 28, killing Jenna Corrin Causby, 19, and Dorothy Ann Guthrie, 20, both of Lompoc.

Santa Barbara County firefighters and other emergency personnel were dispatched shortly after 4 a.m. to the collision on Highway 1 about a mile west of Highway 101.

The collision occurred as Nelson was southbound on Highway 1 at 80 mph in a Ford C-Max, Rodriguez said, while Causby was driving northbound, the California Highway Patrol said. 

Nelson “wantonly passed over solid double yellow lines, traveling the wrong way” and directly into the path of the Malibu, the CHP said.

After the crash, both vehicles were engulfed in flames, which were doused by firefighters.

The women, who were in a Chevy Malibu, were pronounced dead at the scene.

Nelson, the driver of the other vehicle was taken by AMR ambulance to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital with major injuries, the CHP said.

The criminal complaint was filed last week.

It’s not uncommon for criminal charges to be filed weeks or months after a crash if additional investigation needs to occur or if a defendant has been hospitalized.

Nelson was taken into custody on the new charges last week and was expected to appear in Superior Court for his arraignment hearing this week.

At the time of the crash, Nelson was out on a bail and awaiting sentencing for a different criminal case. 

In a March 2021 criminal complaint, Nelson was charged with oral copulation with a person preventing from resistant due to intoxication or a controlled substance, oral copulation of a unconscious or asleep person and lewd and lascivious acts.

The criminal complaint alleged the incident occurred in February 2020, and involved a 14-year-old boy. 

Nine days before the double-fatal crash, Nelson pleaded guilty to assault by force likely to produce great bodily injury and annoying a child under age 18. 

Under that agreement, he was set to return to court Dec. 15 to be sentenced to three years in state prison and required to register as a sex offender. 

The judge also warned Nelson the agreement could be set aside if he committed crimes while awaiting sentencing. 

On Monday morning, his arraignment hearing on the new charges was continued, but a judge granted Deputy District Attorney Stephen Wagner’s request to raise Nelson’s bail to $500,000.

Nelson remained in the custody of the Santa Barbara County Jail on Monday in lieu of bail.

A stylized hawk's head on a red background

Janene Scully | Noozhawk North County Editor

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at jscully@noozhawk.com.