Collision Reconstructionist Testifies in Dungan Triple-Murder Trial

Former CHP Officer Reveals Speeds Defendant Was Driving at During Time of Impact

From left: Dungan's Defense Attorney Jeremy Lessem, talking to Deputy District Attorney Stephen Wagner | Credit: Rodrigo Hernandez

Prosecutors called a certified collision reconstructionist on Monday, July 11, for the ongoing trial of John Dungan, a Santa Barbara man charged with murdering Solvang woman Rebecca Vanessa Goss Bley and her two children, 2-year-old Lucienne Bley Gleason and 4-month-old Desmond Bley Gleason, in a high-speed car wreck on Highway 154 in 2019. 

Retired CHP Officer Scott Peterson was called to the stand to testify about the Event Data Recorder (EDR) report retrieved from Dungan’s Camaro. Peterson said that the Camaro’s EDR was the only one salvageable since the ones from the Volt driven by Bley and the Yukon driven by Nicholas Goddard, who was driving down the 154 from Los Gatos with his son and narrowly avoided the collision, were damaged extensively from a fire immediately following the crash that ignited from the Volt. 

Pages from the report reveal Dungan was traveling at speeds reaching up to 119 mph toward Bley’s car on October 25, 2019. Peterson said that “the speed increased as the Camaro got closer to the Volt,” confirming that Dungan was traveling at 119 mph when colliding with the Volt. A chart detailing the car’s diagnostics, including speed, ranged from 5 seconds to 0.5 before the crash. The data showed the Camaro’s accelerometer increasing from 109 to 119 in four seconds, as well as the accelerator pedal being at full position leading up to the time of impact and the seatbelt being unbuckled. 

Sign up for Indy Today to receive fresh news from, in your inbox, every morning.

CHP Officer Shannan Sams returned to the stand that Monday, following his testimony from Thursday, June 7. In his previous testimony, Sams said that he went to the hospital to locate Dungan, collect information, and speak with the defendant’s parents — which Sams said was all standard procedure when investigating collisions whether there is a crime involved. 

In Monday’s testimony, Sams described the two attempts he had at conversing with Dungan’s parents, the first being a brief introduction before the defendant was wheeled into an operating room, and the second about an hour after the initial contact, in the waiting room of the hospital. 

The CHP officer said that while asking questions to the parents during their second interaction, John Dungan’s mother, Geraldine, appeared to be uncooperative with her responses, while his father, Michael, was communicative with the officer. Sams said that Geraldine would yell her husband’s name and say that he “didn’t have to answer them because it wasn’t in the best interest for their family.” 

The trial will continue Thursday, July 14, in Judge Thomas Adams’s courtroom, with the prosecution expected to rest their case this week.

Support the Santa Barbara Independent through a long-term or a single contribution.


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.