A 72-year-old Santa Barbara woman was killed after her car slid into a city bus on Cliff Drive on Tuesday morning. A 9-1-1 call had been made to police dispatch shortly before the accident, reporting an older Mercedes-Benz driving recklessly eastbound on Cliff. Behind the wheel was Susan McKnight, who subsequently drove her sedan onto the sidewalk, rebounded off a rock wall, then slid across the double-yellow lines, hit a safety railing aside the westbound lane, and then encountered a Metropolitan Transit District bus heading up the hill toward Santa Barbara City College around 10:40 a.m.
McKnight was taken to Cottage Hospital, where she died of her injuries. The bus driver was treated for moderate injuries. No bus passengers were hurt.
Cliff Drive was closed for several hours during the investigation. Witnesses are asked to contact Traffic Collision Investigator Ethan Ragsdale at (805) 897-3719. The police department press release on the accident adds that this is the first traffic-related fatality in the city since February.