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Southbound 101 closed at Castillo Street as CHP and tow truck drivers clear two of the vehicles that were involved in crash at 12:45 a.m. resulting in three deaths and one person hospitalized. (April 21, 2014)

Paul Wellman

Southbound 101 closed at Castillo Street as CHP and tow truck drivers clear two of the vehicles that were involved in crash at 12:45 a.m. resulting in three deaths and one person hospitalized. (April 21, 2014)


Freeway Closed at Castillo Due to Triple-Fatality DUI Crash


Originally published 8:00 a.m., April 21, 2014
Updated 9:00 a.m., April 21, 2014
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Southbound 101 is closed in Santa Barbara at Castillo Street this morning, due to a crash at 12:45 a.m. involving at least two cars that killed three people and sent another to the hospital. Traffic is being diverted onto the Castillo Street offramp and then right back on the freeway. Major delays are expected for morning commuters and, as of 7:52 a.m., there is no estimated time for the freeway to be re-opened.

CHP routing Southbound 101 traffic through the Castillo offramp/onramp to bypass the accident
Click to enlarge photo

Paul Wellman

CHP routing Southbound 101 traffic through the Castillo offramp/onramp to bypass the accident

According to a report issued by the California Highway Patrol on Monday morning, a red 2005 Mazda was was heading south when the driver veered to the right near the Castillo Street interchange, smashed into the guardrail, and flipped the vehicle, which stopped in the middle of the freeway. Then a white 2013 Ford Mustang hit the Mazda, ejecting two Mazda passengers.

The driver of the Mustang, 52-year-old Kimberly A. Kreis, of Santa Barbara, was arrested for driving under the influence. The investigation is ongoing, but currently three people are dead and a fourth is in critical condition.

CHP routing Southbound 101 traffic through the Castillo offramp/onramp to bypass the accident
Click to enlarge photo

Paul Wellman

CHP routing Southbound 101 traffic through the Castillo offramp/onramp to bypass the accident

According to information available on Facebook, a middle-aged woman by the name of Kimberly A. Kreis lists her current work as being a receptionist at the Santa Barbara News-Press. The newspaper’s front desk receptionist, when asked for Kimberly Kreis, started to look her up in the company directory, and then explained she no longer worked there. Sources who do not want to be identified strongly believe that this is the same woman, and that Kreis was recently let go after missing some shifts, prior to the incident.

The paper’s news director Don Katich explained, “Ms. Kreis is not a News-Press employee. Her Facebook page is not current.” He later explained that she had been terminated a month earlier.

Comments

Independent Discussion Guidelines

Lois Capps keeps drunks on her employee roster and tries to cover for them. NewsPress gets rid of them for derelict work ethics. Interesting contrast of values. While innocent people died in both tragedies.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
April 21, 2014 at 10:25 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"Sources who do not want to be identified strongly believe..."

What is this, TMZ? The newspress gets bashed for shoddy journalism but when you start referencing unnamed sources who "strongly believe" you might as well call this site edhat.com

SB_Guy (anonymous profile)
April 21, 2014 at 10:32 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Meanwhile the Chief's preparing yet another "Effective Law Enforcement Tool" speech for the city council to fawn over....
WE all know the Indy is looking for a little payback, but the more
we keep this hush-hush, the quicker we can get back to making
our corporate sponsors richer off of alcohol sales.

touristunfriendly (anonymous profile)
April 21, 2014 at 10:44 a.m. (Suggest removal)

foofi's fake handwringing disgusts; these sad accidents and multiple deaths have zilch to do with Rep. Capps, the Indy, or the News-Press...let the families grieve, foo, before ramming your thoughtless cr*p onto the threads. Here's where BC is always correct: it is the society, folks, not specific people, or institutions.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
April 21, 2014 at 10:50 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I guess you did not read the Independent article, eh DD?

foofighter (anonymous profile)
April 21, 2014 at 11:02 a.m. (Suggest removal)

From the description of the accident, it doesn't appear that the accident was caused by the drunk driver. But if you drive drunk, you need to pay the price.

Botany (anonymous profile)
April 21, 2014 at 11:06 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The first accident was a single-car wreck. The second happened when the Mustang, driven by a drunk driver, hit the first accident. I'd say the drunk driver was a cause of one wreck this morning.

BTW who cares where she works or formerly worked? I don't understand how that has any bearing on these accidents.

I'm very sorry to hear of the loss of life and hope the survivors get well soon.

z28racergirl (anonymous profile)
April 21, 2014 at 11:10 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Could any of us have stopped in time when a vehicle crashes and ends up in the middle of the freeway? Based on the description of events, whether alcohol was a factor or not in the second collision would be strictly speculation.

Botany (anonymous profile)
April 21, 2014 at 11:20 a.m. (Suggest removal)

It's foolish to hold the News-Press or Capps responsible for either incident.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
April 21, 2014 at 11:30 a.m. (Suggest removal)

According to the logical conclusions of the Newspress, they as employer also are responsible for the fatality and drunk driving of their own employee.

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
April 21, 2014 at 12:23 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Even after they get fired, huh?

Botany (anonymous profile)
April 21, 2014 at 12:32 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Only the drivers in question made the decision to get intoxicated and drive. I don't think Wendy MCCaw, Lois Capps or the Indy forcibly intoxicated these people and sent them on the road.
Make people responsible for their decisions, not who we wish were responsible.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
April 21, 2014 at 12:48 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Three people died. Show some respect and raise the tone of this discussion.

MrsDoverSharp (anonymous profile)
April 21, 2014 at 1:25 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Thank you BOTANY for being THE FIRST PERSON to inject some logic into this discussion!!!!

"Based on the description of events, whether alcohol was a factor or not in the second collision would be strictly speculation." -Botany

Of course, I said the same thing about Malory Dies, who ran into the middle of the street at night and could have been hit by ANYBODY, but the driver just happened to be drunk - so of course the knee-jerk reaction of the community is to blame the alcohol and not the person running into the middle of the street.. Now I'm not saying I know for sure what happened in either of these cases, I don't know how fast either of these drivers were going or if they had time to stop and did not - but the fact remains - whether alcohol was a factor in these tragic accidents is based on speculation because as all the facts are not being reported in the media we do not have all of the facts in the case.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
April 21, 2014 at 1:27 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@foofighter: "Lois Capps keeps drunks on her employee roster and tries to cover for them. NewsPress gets rid of them for derelict work ethics."

Travis Armstrong was publisher for over 3 years AFTER his >.20 DUI arrest. But hey, facts are stupid things, right?

EatTheRich (anonymous profile)
April 21, 2014 at 1:29 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Can't accuse Travis of derelict work ethics. Keep your apples and oranges sorted out if you are trying to make point. Plus Armstrong was proven right is so many instances. Give the poor maligned guy a Cassandra Complex Award, wounded in the line of duty.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
April 21, 2014 at 1:35 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Although I appreciate your understanding of my logic in this matter Loon, I can't agree with you on the Mallory Dies death. There was no evidence that Mallory Dies acted unsafely (or Morua for that matter) prior to the accident. That is very different from this accident. Also, Morua fled the scene at high speed and crashed his car, endangering even more lives. These are huge differences that make Morua appear much more guilty than Kimberly Kreis.

Botany (anonymous profile)
April 21, 2014 at 1:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@Botany, @loonpt

ANY time driver is found to be DUI (in Morua's case his BAC was 0.17), s/he is considered at fault because THEY ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE DRIVING. This does not necessarily mean that alcohol was a *causative factor* of the actual event, but it is STILL ILLEGAL, and so the person may/will be charged.

The idea is that a person with an illegal BAC should not be on the road, and therefore would not be able to be involved in in any collision<--this term used, as "accident" implies that the event(s) is/are unavoidable, and happened by chance.

equus_posteriori (anonymous profile)
April 21, 2014 at 2:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Botany, the fact that there is no evidence that Dies acted unsafely in crossing the street is exactly my point - there is little to no evidence she acted SAFELY in crossing the street either. Now, I had heard she was following her friends across the street - this could be a good indication that Morua was culpable because he should have seen them and slowed down, however I don't know all the details and circumstances and so that is a very broad judgement that could include more information, like, maybe they crossed safely several seconds before and Morua saw them and then Mallory darted out to catch up with them. I just don't know, too much speculation to say either way.

Technically it is legal to cross in the middle of the street there but I guarantee if you wanted to you could go to that street any time of day and jump in front of a car being driven by a sober driver and get in a really bad accident.

The thing is, I'm very willing to believe that Morua had some culpability in that accident and that alcohol played a factor and if I were on a jury I would have been willing to convict him of the very same crimes that he pled guilty to if the evidence pointed in that direction - however I would have really liked to hear from witnesses and experts who could have helped determine the culpability of Morua.

The fact that Morua left the scene after doesn't help his case, but let's look at it from another angle - if Malory literally jumped from behind a car like a ballerina right in front of Morua's car (which is not what I believe happened, but for the sake of argument) and Morua knew that there was no way he could have avoided her, what incentive do we give him to stay at the scene of the accident? Zero. So even if Mallory was 100% at fault, Morua knew he was getting a DUI and that he was going to be arrested and likely blamed for the accident and put away for years and years no matter what if he stayed at the scene, even if he could not possibly have avoided the accident. His only chance at continuing to have a normal life was to get away rather than being given a chance to defend his position. This is why I don't like zero tolerance laws. This is why I like to have logic interjected into our laws.

Now, realistically Morua was very drunk and likely did have much culpability, and the reason he drove away was likely because he knew he screwed up and wanted to get away with it. But since we don't know the first part about culpability it makes it near impossible to know what his motivations for leaving the scene were.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
April 21, 2014 at 2:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)

equus_posteriori, what if somebody is tired, who shouldn't be on the road, gets into an accident and it is the other driver's fault, 100%? Do we blame the tired driver for that, too, since they shouldn't have been on the road? I'm a big fan of principles and consistency, so help me out here.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
April 21, 2014 at 2:27 p.m. (Suggest removal)

We only blame the tired driver if his exhaustion level exceeds 0.08%.

Unfortunately, levels of being tired or sleepy can't be measured. Alcohol intoxication can. Granted, people shouldn't be operating motor vehicles when they are tired or sleepy. But there is a difference between what can be speculated and what can be measured. Alcohol levels can be measured. In general, people shouldn't drive at all when they've been drinking, and some drive better than others when intoxicated. But the legal line has to be drawn somewhere. 0.08% is it.

Botany (anonymous profile)
April 21, 2014 at 2:39 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@foofighter: "Can't accuse Travis of derelict work ethics. Keep your apples and oranges sorted out if you are trying to make point. Plus Armstrong was proven right is so many instances."

My point is that you and your ilk are apologists for the criminal element in this town when they just so happen to be of your members political persuasion. And you proved me right. Twice.

@foofighter: "Plus Armstrong was proven right is so many instances."

And wrong in many more instances - including the direction of that 'One Way' sign.

EatTheRich (anonymous profile)
April 21, 2014 at 3:08 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Famous drunk drivers:
John Huston
Lyndsey Lohan
Laura Bush
Jackson Pollock
Alice Walton

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
April 21, 2014 at 3:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@Ken_Volok There are many more famous drunk drivers. Those are just a few of the ones that got caught. Most drunk drivers don't get caught.

DarNel (anonymous profile)
April 21, 2014 at 3:30 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Just wait until you see what Ms. Kreis' prior arrest and criminal record is. It goes way back. Just saying.

BeckyBee (anonymous profile)
April 21, 2014 at 3:40 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Why don't we wait for BAC results before breaking out the torches and pitchforks.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
April 21, 2014 at 3:43 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Extremely shoddy journalism and ethics by the Independent to include the News Press points in the article, which proves yet again that they are no better than the SBNP. Its time to stop giving the Indy a pass because they are just as bad as wicked Wendys rag.

pointssouth (anonymous profile)
April 21, 2014 at 4:59 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Actually, given that the News-Press just ran a ridiculously long series excoriating DUI driver Raymond Morua and calling into question his employment at the time, his prior record, and the hiring practices of his employer, it would have been shoddy, irresponsible journalism to not mention the connection between another alleged DUI-death offender and her recent employment history. That, in fact, would be burying the news.

CompetentObserver (anonymous profile)
April 21, 2014 at 6:56 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Mallory did not run into the road that horrid night; she and her friends crossed at the intersection in a LEGAL crosswalk. If you drink and get behind the wheel it doesn't matter WHAT happens, or even if you cause a problem; the truth is you are in the WRONG when you drive under the influence! Karma's a bee-atch!💋

bloodydramaqueen (anonymous profile)
April 21, 2014 at 7:07 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The NewsPress series on the Morua accident was an objective timeline of events and statements. It excoriated no one. Facts will or will not support the case of respondent superior.

But first you need a timeline and facts. And that is what you got. A court will reach the final conclusion based upon the chain of evidence presented in court; not just in the newspapers.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
April 21, 2014 at 7:19 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Someone explain to me how a group crosses Anacapa Street and not see a car coming? I'll wait for the answer.

DarNel (anonymous profile)
April 21, 2014 at 8:23 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I wonder if alcohol was a factor in the initial crash? A car load of teenagers late at night and far from home? Why did they lose control and hit the guardrail? Could this have been a double drunk driving situation? Either way, very tragic

retprotector (anonymous profile)
April 21, 2014 at 8:27 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Nothing the np publishes is objective foofi. Least of all anything written by the current resident Newspress drunkard.

lawdy (anonymous profile)
April 21, 2014 at 8:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Loonpt - no offense but your comments are staggering in their mindless, meandering stupidity. Notwithstanding your various convoluted disclaimers, you actually devote time and space to
(a) speculating whether Mallory Dies might have been at fault for the accident that took her life, ("there is little to no evidence she acted SAFELY in crossing the street either"), and
(b) seeking to rationalize the fact that Morua fled the scene after he hit (and eventually killed) her because society failed to provide any incentive for him to stay ("what incentive do we give him to stay at the scene of the accident? Zero). How about the fact the law requires it and the fact that he made no effort to determine whether his victim was injured or needed help.

What planet are you living on? Does the fact that Morua has admitted his guilt and agreed to serve many years in jail not give you a hint that your mindless speculation is inane and groundless, not to mention moot? Good thing you have no role in the judicial system - I shudder to think of the consequences were you given any authority over the lives of others.

Justice (anonymous profile)
April 21, 2014 at 10:14 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Which drunkard is that Lawdy?

As for the Botany/Loonpt debate, I side with Botany. There is no evidence Dies did anything to contribute to her death, whereas Kreis' intoxication may or may not have played into her hitting the Mazda.

There are situations even Mario Andretti couldn't escape during his driving days.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
April 21, 2014 at 10:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@Justice: You are asking a question I've asked myself: Is Loon crazy, or just a troll trying to offend us?

billclausen (anonymous profile)
April 21, 2014 at 10:22 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Justice, first of all your statements insinuate that a person can never cause their own death accidentally. That is pretty illogical, it sounds like your entire post is going to be based on emotion with little regard to logic. Yes, it is possible that a person can jump out into the road in front of a drunk driver and it wouldn't matter whether the driver was sober or drunk, they wouldn't be able to stop and the pedestrian could die from those injuries. It would be the person's fault who went into the street in front of a car in that case. I don't know whether that was the case that night or not, it is possible that Morua should have stopped and did not because he was drunk and driving too fast or not able to see her and stop in time. I freely admit throughout my posts that it is speculation for the purpose or rational thought exercise related to this incident, but because the trial never took place I have not seen solid evidence either way. I admit the evidence leans towards Morua's guilt based on the high BAC and erratic behavior.

As far as leaving the scene, jee whiz, was Mr. Morua a doctor?? There were fifty million people at the scene, there was NOTHING he could do to help her that the other fifty million people couldn't do. He stopped, got out, and decided to leave. Yes, it's illegal, and if there was nobody there or a phone call needed to be made or something then I agree it would be morally reprehensible to leave the scene. But because he had nothing to offer her in the form of assistance, the only reason it would be immoral to leave is if he were responsible for the accident and leaving would relieve him of his responsibilities in that area. However, if as I said she jumped out in front of his car and there was no way for him to stop, sober or not, and he hit her and there were plenty of people there to help her, I see no motivating reason why he should stay when the chances he would face punishment for something he wasn't responsible for are very high.

bloodydramaqueen said that Mallory crossed at an intersection, however, as I had heard it reported she actually did not cross at an intersection, she crossed in the middle of the street and the article specifically explained that it was legal to do so on that block. I could be mistaken, but that is how I recall it being reported and I do not recall any reporting of the event stating that she crossed at an intersection, thought I admit that could be the case.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
April 21, 2014 at 11:23 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Why did the, "red 2005 Mazda was was heading south when the driver veered to the right near the Castillo Street interchange, smashed into the guardrail, and flipped the vehicle, which stopped in the middle of the freeway? Did they blow a tire? Were they drunk? Were they distracted by an PED (Personal Entertaining Device), Doing their hair, make-up, dressing? I want to know why the Mazda veered to the right, hitting the guardrail and flipping into the middle of HWY 101?

dou4now (anonymous profile)
April 22, 2014 at 5:09 a.m. (Suggest removal)

None of us can say if we would have seen the car, on it's roof, perhaps with it's side facing you in the dark, in time to stop when you come around a corner on the freeway late and night to encounter it. Because she was DUI we all assume that she has fault, and she has fault of hitting something that was in the road before her. Will she be determined to be at fault for their deaths? I would have to say that a large part of that fault will likely fall with the driver of the car that they were in that crashed and the fact that the driver of that car is still alive, while the rest in his car perished, 2 having been ejected which indicates that they were not wearing seat belts. Everything about this one stinks and is sad. Would the DUI driver have had any issues getting home that night if there were not a car upside down on the freeway that she struck? Who knows... she may just be guilty of DUI, which is not okay, but is not the same thing as causing an accident that kills people. That's why the freeway was shut so long, it's not a simple matter of determining fault and that is going to be a big issue down the road when the families of the deceased young people sue.

santabarbarasand (anonymous profile)
April 22, 2014 at 6:52 a.m. (Suggest removal)

One of the victim's fathers says that the driver of the Nissan fell asleep... http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?sec...

santabarbarasand (anonymous profile)
April 22, 2014 at 6:56 a.m. (Suggest removal)

She got fired as a receptionist from La Cumbre Country Club some years back due to her criminal record.

BeckyBee (anonymous profile)
April 22, 2014 at 10:17 a.m. (Suggest removal)

O. M. G. An article about a horrific crash on the 101, and the first words posted by the first poster are "Lois Capps." Have you no decency, no shame?

GregMohr (anonymous profile)
April 22, 2014 at 10:36 a.m. (Suggest removal)

This is a horrible tragedy for everyone involved. My condolences to the families of the victims.

I'm surprised, though, that no one has bothered to raise the issue of the speed limit through Santa Barbara.

In my opinion, the 65-mile-an-hour speed limit is ridiculously fast.

The speed limit should be reduced to 55mph from Fairview through Montecito.

I wonder if this horrible event might have been avoided if traffic was traveling at a more sensible speed.

TheBleedingObvious (anonymous profile)
April 22, 2014 at 10:40 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Dang it, the way the Independent article was written it got my head all messed up. Bad dog. I am so ashamed.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
April 22, 2014 at 10:42 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Allowing traffic to speed along 101 at 65mph through a densely-populated urban area, with curves, lane endings, and poor visibility in places, is just asking for trouble. Traffic is often backed-up and stopped at Patterson, State, Mission, Carrillo, and then the bottleneck at Montecito. Drivers who are unfamiliar with the area don't have the time to anticipate sudden stops.

Everyone knows that you're unlikely to get pulled over by the cops if you're doing 10mph over the speed limit, so the de facto speed limit through our fair city is an insane 75mph, with arrogant twerps (frequently driving BMWs, I've noticed) going a lot faster.

It's like Death Race 2000 out there. I hate driving on the 101, especially with my 7-year-old daughter in the car.

For crying out loud, REDUCE THE SPEED LIMIT! !!!

TheBleedingObvious (anonymous profile)
April 22, 2014 at 11:03 a.m. (Suggest removal)

No need. Traffic fatalities per mile driven are at an all-time low.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_...

Botany (anonymous profile)
April 22, 2014 at 11:14 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The all-time low is still shamefully high.

There's no need to be traveling at such high speed through Santa Barbara.

It's asking for trouble.

TheBleedingObvious (anonymous profile)
April 22, 2014 at 11:17 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Hey, introducing class envy (BMW twerps) into this discussion on top of Capps and the NewsPress. Shame on all of us.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
April 22, 2014 at 11:25 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I'm sorry Foo but I think you're the only person who is class envious here, of those of us with class.
:)

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
April 22, 2014 at 11:48 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"She got fired as a receptionist from La Cumbre Country Club some years back due to her criminal record."

Aren't personnel records supposed to be confidential?

"For crying out loud, REDUCE THE SPEED LIMIT! !!!"

People drive at the speed at which they are comfortable, if you're not comfortable at 65, drive 55. Personally, I'm more concerned with the many drivers that aren't competent at any speed above walking.

While on the subject of safe driving, the Amber alert sign at Las Positas is warning everybody about using a cell phone while driving. Does the SBPD know about this law? Or the one about a loose animal in the passenger area of a car? What does the SBPD do all day long? They sure aren't making the roads safer.

Carpreader (anonymous profile)
April 22, 2014 at 11:57 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Hear hear Greg Mohr. The comments here have sunk to new lows. Or maybe not, maybe the Indy comments have been like this for a long time now, I quit posting and reading them for quite a while.

It is a tragedy that the 3 young people died and 1 is critically injured. Learning their names and families today makes me much more sad. So much potential lost.

As for Kreis, she was arrested, not convicted of DUI. I've been arrested for DUI too, and when the blood tests came back, I was at 0.02 BAC. Defaming her on these boards disgusts me.

MrsDoverSharp (anonymous profile)
April 22, 2014 at 12:34 p.m. (Suggest removal)

TheBleedingObvious if you're concerned about the speeds on the 101 through Santa Barbara here is a suggestion for you. STOP driving on the 101 with your 7 year old in the car with you. This Santa Barbara not LA you don't have to drive on the freeway to get from one side of town to the other.

DarNel (anonymous profile)
April 22, 2014 at 12:38 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Slow driving is compatible with high speed driving if the slow drivers stay on the right or middle lane and allow the fast drivers to pass in the left lane. The autobahn is Germany was always very safe because drivers are very careful to stay in the right lane unless they are passing another car.

When you have somebody going 65 mph in the fast lane and there are people behind them trying to go 70-75, you get the faster cars having to move to the center or even the right lane to pass them and this is dangerous.

A couple nights ago I saw someone driving in the left lane between Carp and SB driving 60 mph. There was a big raised truck right on their tail blaring their bright beams at them from behind, and as everybody else passed the truck and the car the truck continued to tail them with their brights on in an attempt to get them to move to the right to avoid these dangerous situations. You could tell both cars were pissed at each other and while the truck was acting overly aggressive, this could have all been avoided if the slower car moved to the right.

The point is, you can safely drive 55-65 mph in the right lane if everybody else cooperates and stay in the right lane unless they are passing or if other cars are not around or behind them trying to go faster. Admittedly, if YOU are doing it right and driving 55-65 in the right lane, but somebody else fails to do so, you may end up having to deal with more dangerous situations involving vehicles moving at much higher speeds.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
April 22, 2014 at 1:22 p.m. (Suggest removal)

In point of fact, DarNel, I drive along Cathedral Oaks and Foothill whenever possible to get from one end of town to the other. It is far prettier and sometimes just as quick. But there are occasions when I need to get from point A to point B quickly, and time is of the essence. I shouldn't feel like I'm taking my life into my hands every time I use the 101. And, for the record, I'm not some old codger chugging along the road at 55mph in the fast lane.

Other metropolitan areas slow down the traffic as drivers approach the city centre. In LA, the speed limit drops from 65 to 55. Outside Phoenix, you can go as fast as 75mph, but closer to the centre, the limit drops to 45, with multiple lanes and far better visibility than we have here in Santa Barbara.

At the risk of repeating myself, this is a densely populated urban area, with multiple ramps, some of which (notably Arrellaga) are absurdly short, and many of which serve as both on and off ramps (Mission, notably). The 1/4 mile space between the Patterson ramp and the UCSB/airport exit is the scene of many crazy last-minute lane changes. There are seemingly perpetual lane closures on the 101 due to roadwork and tree prunings.

The 65mph speed limit through Santa Barbara is insane and needs to be reduced to at least 55mph. Other cities slow traffic down through the city centres. Why can't we? It's the prudent, wise thing to do.

I don't think it's overly speculative to say that the high speed limit was, at the very least, a major contributing factor to this latest highway tragedy.

TheBleedingObvious (anonymous profile)
April 22, 2014 at 2:40 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The speed limit likely had nothing to do with it. It was 12:45 AM and the freeway was likely fairly empty at the time so "metropolitan" traffic volume also likely had nothing to do with it. Construction zones automatically have the speed limit reduced to 55 anyway, so that issue is redundant.

Ironically, you are likely safer on the freeway at 75 than you are on Foothill at 45. There is (hopefully) no opposing freeway traffic that can veer into your lane.

Botany (anonymous profile)
April 22, 2014 at 2:55 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"But there are occasions when I need to get from point A to point B quickly, and time is of the essence." Therefore people like you TheBleedingObvious speed on the 101. What do you think you're only person with some place to get to quickly. I'm from the Brooklyn, New York and I laugh when someone calls Santa Barbara densely populated. Maybe you haven't noticed but during peak periods the speeds on the 101 through the city centre are well below 65 mph.

DarNel (anonymous profile)
April 22, 2014 at 2:59 p.m. (Suggest removal)

DarNel, if you really want a good laugh I have, recently, argued with people on here who claim that the 101 traffic contributes to the horrible air pollution in Santa Barbara.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
April 22, 2014 at 3:13 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Sorry, DarNel, I drive the speed limit on the 101 because I can't afford the traffic tickets, nor the boost in insurance, nor do I want to put my life in peril nor jeopardise the lives of other people around me.

And, for the record, I lived in Manhattan for 15 years, and I'm experienced at driving on the BQE and the LIE, so I know all about driving in metropolitan areas. Don't dismiss me as a local yokel. I've been here in SB 10 years, and seen more than my fair share of mayhem on the 101. Keep on living the fantasy that you're in a rural Old West, fool.

If you have an actual argument to make, I'll listen to it.

TheBleedingObvious (anonymous profile)
April 22, 2014 at 3:23 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"The speed limit likely had nothing to do with it. It was 12:45 AM and the freeway was likely fairly empty at the time so "metropolitan" traffic volume also likely had nothing to do with it."

Of course, at 12.45 am, it's dark outside and visibility is necessarily not as good as during daylight hours.

Even if the DUI driver was impaired, a slower speed limit would have given her more time in which to react to the overturned car in the road, thus giving her a better chance to avoid a collision. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

TheBleedingObvious (anonymous profile)
April 22, 2014 at 3:34 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Loon, if 101 traffic doesn't contribute to air pollution in Santa Barbara- where does all the car exhaust and oil drippings go?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
April 22, 2014 at 3:59 p.m. (Suggest removal)

What you forgot about the Van Wyck and the Major Deegan TheBleedingObvious? You should have been riding the train in NY anyway. You seem to like to drive a lot. You drive around in New York and now you drive around in Santa Barbara. Don't you get it? You are part of the problem. You are doing nothing but ADDING to the congestion on the highway. Share the road with everyone else or pipe down. The roads weren't built for just you and your 7 year old to leisurely drive around town. Oh and Santa Barbara is rural Old West, you silly rabbit.

DarNel (anonymous profile)
April 22, 2014 at 4:22 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ken, my point was that we don't have any air pollution to complain about here in Santa Barbara, not that none gets released into the atmosphere. I'm all for coming up with ways to reduce what gets released, but to complain about it in the sense that it actually causes problems locally is completely insane. Long ago a friend taught me about lichen. Lichen grows on rocks, but it only grows on rocks where there is virtually no air pollution. It is an excellent gauge for local air quality. There are rocks on my property with lichen, and if you go hiking in the Santa Barbara foothills you will find lichen everywhere.

It would almost be like a trout in Lake Cachuma complaining about there being too much water right now. We are so spoiled living here in part because of the excellent air quality. We are surrounded by ocean on one side, mountains on the other and a tiny little strip of civilization going down the middle. What air pollution there is gets blown out to sea, out towards carp or up into the mountains and disperses, it doesn't just sit around.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
April 22, 2014 at 5:12 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Oh, and the oil drippings end up in my hair after I go surfing.

Thanks for the free conditioner, santa barbara.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
April 22, 2014 at 5:14 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people." - Eleanor Roosevelt

nuff said

tabatha (anonymous profile)
April 22, 2014 at 6:07 p.m. (Suggest removal)

It would almost be like a trout in Lake Cachuma complaining about there being too much water right now.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
April 22, 2014 at 5:12 p.m.

Trout, dolphins, and other sea creatures don't complain, and we don't have to worry about keeping our heads above water.

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
April 22, 2014 at 6:56 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@loonpt

"equus_posteriori, what if somebody is tired, who shouldn't be on the road, gets into an accident and it is the other driver's fault, 100%? Do we blame the tired driver for that, too, since they shouldn't have been on the road? I'm a big fan of principles and consistency, so help me out here."

1) As far as I know, there is no legal limit to "tired".

2) You're premise is contradictory-- If the accident is "the other driver's fault, 100%", then no fault can be assesses to the tired "somebody".

However, a "what if" scenario might be possible to adversely affect "principles and consistency", as there is open room for speculation. For example, what about if a motorist with a suspended license still drives, and collides with a person DUI? How about if a DUI meet a DUI, comin' through the rye?

equus_posteriori (anonymous profile)
April 23, 2014 at 2:50 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@equus_posteriori

Thanks, this is what I was after:

"2) You're premise is contradictory-- If the accident is "the other driver's fault, 100%", then no fault can be assesses to the tired "somebody"."

My premise is that if it's the other driver's fault (or pedestrian), 100%, then no fault should be assessed to the DUI driver either.

Some commenters on here have insinuated that the DUI driver should not be on the road, so it doesn't matter whose fault the accident is. It can always be blamed on the DUI driver simply for existing at that place in that moment, even if they did not make any errors in judgement or break any traffic laws.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
April 23, 2014 at 3:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Through a process of experimentation, trial and error; society as a whole agrees DUI drivers should not be on the road.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
April 23, 2014 at 3:18 p.m. (Suggest removal)

It's not just a matter of judgment, it's a matter of reaction times as well. Kimberly Kreis may have had no fault in the accident, but the alcohol intoxication may have been sufficient to slow her reaction times down enough to make a difference between injury and death. Of course that's difficult to measure, but responsibility needs to be taken for DUI.

Botany (anonymous profile)
April 23, 2014 at 3:34 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Let's break this down a little bit and put an arbitrary number scale on driving ability to help demonstrate some philosophical concepts surrounding drunk driving and balancing our personal freedoms with that. I will admit right off I don't know the best solution. I like drinking, I like freedom, I agree with holding people responsible for their actions and just like everybody else I hate tragedies.

Let's say that we can rate everybody's driving skills on 1-10, 1 being extremely unsafe and almost 100% likely to cause an accident during a driving outing to a 10 who is very, very safe, cautious and not likely at all to ever cause an accident.

Now let's say that in order to pass your driver's test and keep your license for an extended period of time (driving regularly, yet not exceeding the state's point system limit), you need to score a 5-10.

Ok, now you're out on the road and we should expect that almost all of the drivers out there are rated 5-10 for safety when they are sober. Society, through the process of experimentation and error, has decided that a 5 rating is the minimum skill level that we want to allow onto the road and so we have given them the "right" or "privilege" to drive (whatever you want to call it)

Now what gives a person a low score and makes a person a relatively unsafe driver out on the road? Let's make a list:

1. Lacking motor skills/hand/eye coordination (due to age or otherwise)

2. Lacking experience or driver training

3. Carelessness

As you can see, some of reasons for unsafe driving can be controlled to an extent by the individual (#3) while others are more inherent to the individual (#1 and #2).

Now let's bring alcohol into the picture. Let's pretend for the sake of convenience that 1 drink lowers your score by 1/2 point, 2 drinks lowers your score by 2 points, 3 drinks lowers your score by 3 points, 4 drinks lowers your score by 4 points and 5 drinks lowers your score by 6 points.

If everybody drove around with 2 drinks in them, you would expect that the drivers with 5 and 6 ratings would eventually get too many points on their record while those who are very good drivers would be 2 points lower on the scale, leading to more traffic violations and accidents.

There is no doubt that regular drinking and driving would decrease overall safety out on the road, and at some point people decided to make it against the law and over time the laws have become more stringent and harsh.

However, when we look at people INDIVIDUALLY things appear a little different. Let's say we have a driver who is a 10 and they have 2 drinks and this moves them down to an 8. Even though their skill level has no doubt decreased, they still are much safer and more skilled than many sober drivers out on the road. In fact, their skills are better than the average sober driver.

(cont..)

loonpt (anonymous profile)
April 23, 2014 at 5:07 p.m. (Suggest removal)

(cont..)

Now you can look at this situation two ways:

1) Taking all drunk drivers off the road increases the average safety for all those on the road.

2) Taking this INDIVIDUAL drunk driver off the road who is actually more skilled than the average sober driver actually decreases the average rating of all drivers on the road (I won't say it makes the road safer since more people on the road generally means less safe, even adding a 10 driver doesn't make the road more safe)

Most people look at 1) and say, "Hey, ya, let's do it!! The answer is so simple!!"

Other may people ask, what about 2) ?? Do we not regard his rights or his individual ability to perform safely on the road?

If 2) guy gets in an accident and it wasn't his fault but his personal reaction time was slightly slower, yet his slower reaction time is still better than the average driver, do we punish him? Why are we punishing a driver in this instance who is a good driver just because they decreased their own personal driving ability by consuming alcohol?

What if somebody could have a 10 rating, but is so careless it brings them down to a 5 or a 6, yet we still let them drive.. But we don't let the guy who is a 10 have a couple drinks even though he may have greater driving abilities than the average sober driver. You have to understand the complete disconnect this causes those who value individualism and liberty. I'm not trying to convince everybody to abolish DUI laws tomorrow, but just to think about the arbitrary and capricious way in which DUI laws are constructed and enforced.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
April 23, 2014 at 5:13 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I vote for #1, we already have enough bureaucracy without individually testing everybody's DUI skills.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
April 23, 2014 at 5:19 p.m. (Suggest removal)

We could get rid of all of the extra bureaucracy and leave it to the court and jury system to handle, that is the Constitutional position.

However I cannot on principle believe that sacrificing individual liberty for the 'greater good' is the best position, even when that liberty pertains to recreational activities. Punishing somebody who is on average a better driver than everybody else on the road simply for a BAC reading causes too much cognitive dissonance for my brain to handle.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
April 24, 2014 at 12:50 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@loonpt

"My premise is that if it's the other driver's fault (or pedestrian), 100%, then no fault should be assessed to the DUI driver either.

Some commentors on here have insinuated that the DUI driver should not be on the road, so it doesn't matter whose fault the accident is. It can always be blamed on the DUI driver simply for existing at that place in that moment, even if they did not make any errors in judgement or break any traffic laws."

I said that your premise is false, because you're setting up the percentage-assignment aspect of your "what-if" scenario, by *pre-assigning* the fault to the other person. This excludes the secondary person from being assigned fault on the face. However, it's also a misleading construct, because--as I already addressed--there is no test for being DWT (Driving While Tired). You cannot use my explanation of excusing a "tired" driver and substitute a drunk one--they are not the same. [Note: If a driver actually say, fall asleep because of being "tired", and causes an accident, then I believe the violation would be assessed on the outcome (failure to maintain a lane, property damage, endangering others, related death/dismemberment) , and not the causation. In the case of a DUI, one could be charged with the outcome, and the DUI is not only (probably) causative, but it's ILLEGAL TO BEGIN WITH.]

Lastly, don't overlook that the driver of the Mazda--had s/he survived--could have also been charged with something, considering the loss of control. This would mean that both drivers bear some fault, but one is dead while the other is not (and happen to be the one that was DUI).

equus_posteriori (anonymous profile)
April 28, 2014 at 1:27 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@loonpt

"However I cannot on principle believe that sacrificing individual liberty for the 'greater good' is the best position, even when that liberty pertains to recreational activities. Punishing somebody who is on average a better driver than everybody else on the road simply for a BAC reading causes too much cognitive dissonance for my brain to handle."

Remember what you were taught: Driving is a *privilege*, not a right. When it comes to DUI laws, the state can be as draconian as it wishes.

Also, I don't consider "public safety" to be the same as "the greater good", although I know you're simply using it to convey the idea of a sort of plurality.

equus_posteriori (anonymous profile)
April 28, 2014 at 1:44 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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