Santa Barbaran Killed on 101

Kenneth Weinke’s Van Struck Tree

A Santa Barbara man died when a van he was driving struck a large tree just off southbound Highway 101 north of State Street Wednesday.

According to witnesses, the full-size Ford van driven by Kenneth Wienke, 60, was traveling normally at 60 to 65 miles per hour in the slow lane just after 5:30 p.m. when it veered off the roadway and struck a large tree off of the shoulder. The front center of the van hit the tree head-on, according to the California Highway Patrol.

A Cal Fire Strike Team traveling on Highway 101 stopped almost immediately after to provide aide, but the driver, the only occupant of the van, was declared dead at the scene. CHP officers confirmed Wienke was wearing his seatbelt, and no other vehicles were involved.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

event calendar sponsored by:

Federal Workers Get Utility Bill Break from Lompoc

City decides to extend utility due dates for federal employees during government shutdown.

Have a Thorny Saturday with the Rose Society

Annual Mission Rose Garden Pruning takes place January 19; volunteers invited to bring shears and gloves.

Edison Company Counter-Sues County and City

Claims they were aware of risks underlying original lawsuit.

Man on the Run Hits Car and Two People

Driving away from attempt to serve felony warrant, injures woman and child, say police.

Heroin Dealer Sentenced to 12 Years

Oxnard resident will serve time for heroin sales in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, among other charges.