Police Identify Victim in Fatal Sycamore Canyon Incident

Woman Was Riding on Boyfriend’s Car Prior to Deadly Fall

The Santa Barbara Police Department has released the name of the woman killed Saturday afternoon after falling off a moving car. Isabel Tole Renosa, 41 — a longtime Santa Barbara resident — suffered fatal injuries when she tumbled onto Sycamore Canyon Road during an incident in which she was reportedly riding on the hood of her boyfriend’s car.

According to police spokesperson Lt. Paul McCaffrey, Renosa and her boyfriend — 53-year-old Dennis Wayne Gibbons — had driven in his vehicle up toward the end of Sycamore Canyon Road, parking on the shoulder for a period of time. At around 4:10 p.m., McCaffrey said, Gibbons started driving back down with Renosa sprawled across the hood “for reasons that remain unclear.”

Dennis Gibbons
Click to enlarge photo


Dennis Gibbons

At one point Gibbons reportedly called out something to a nearby resident about Renosa being a “hood ornament,” but she herself did not say anything during the brief encounter. About a half-mile down the road, Renosa fell from the car and hit her head, McCaffrey said. Gibbons stopped to help and called paramedics, but by the time emergency crews responded, Renosa had succumbed to her injuries.

Police, reported McCaffrey, believe Gibbons was traveling at an unsafe speed, and he displayed symptoms of being under the influence of an illegal drug during the incident. Crack cocaine, marijuana, and a prescription scheduled controlled substance were all purportedly found in the car. Gibbons was booked on $100,000 bail for alleged felony vehicular manslaughter, felony DUI causing death, drug possession, allowing a passenger to ride in an unsafe manner, and unsafe speed.

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