Three reports of traffic deaths were released last Friday, two that happened that day and one the week before.
The identity of the man who dove headfirst from La Cumbre Road overpass to the 101 below on November 5 was released on the 13th. He was 44-year-old Chancellor “Chance” Bernard of Amarillo, Texas, who was found in the center median of the highway around 9:45 a.m. as cars swerved to avoid his body. His death was determined to be a suicide, according to law enforcement, and his history included episodes of mental illness. His obituary published in Texas recalled he loved fast cars and had been a drag racer since the age of 16.
A 50-year-old man — Kelly Chadic — released from County Jail and walking home to Lompoc was clipped by a car in a northbound lane of the 101 at around 8 p.m. near El Capitan. The driver swerved to avoid Chadic but hit him with the right side of his car. Chadic had been released from jail at around 3 a.m. after an arrest 13 hours earlier for meth possession and being under the influence. He’d been offered a ride home by Sheriff’s deputies who met up with him near Winchester Canyon, but he refused. Chadic was an Afghanistan War veteran who had served from 2007-08. He was diagnosed with PTSD and schizophrenia, and family members stated he had a history of suicidal ideation and had made an attempt in the past.
Volunteers had run the County Jail’s ride system until it was discontinued because of COVID-19. It was for inmates, who are often released from jail at around 3 a.m., and it offered cab fare to the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission or a bus pass to Lompoc or Santa Maria. The buses ran only during daylight hours.
In the third incident, Cathedral Oaks Road closed for several hours after Travis Gottlob was struck at 8:36 p.m. by a car headed westbound from Los Carneros Road. Gottlob was said to have been walking in the lane of traffic, and the coroner is conducting a toxicology report. Witnesses to the incident or who saw Gottlob that day are asked to call Deputy Matthew Dawson at (805) 961-7519 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Officers stated the drivers in the Chadic and Gottlob deaths did not appear impaired and were not cited for alcohol or drugs. For people in distress, free and confidential support is available day and night at the national Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-TALK (8255). In Santa Barbara, a mobile crisis team and hotline can be contacted at (888) 334-2777.
Every day, the staff of the Santa Barbara Independent works hard to sort out truth from rumor and keep you informed of what’s happening across the entire Santa Barbara community. Now there’s a way to directly enable these efforts. Support the Independent by making a direct contribution or with a subscription to Indy+.