Fatal Accident on Highway 101 in Montecito 

By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   August 22, 2023

On Sunday August 13, at approximately 3:12 am, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) received a report of a traffic crash that had occurred on the southbound 101 freeway, north of Olive Mill Road where the three-lane highway merges to two lanes. 

The accident involved two vehicles, a 2019 Toyota Camry and a 2002 Mercury Mountaineer. The driver of the Camry, 22-year-old Ricki Newton of Port Hueneme, was later arrested for driving while under the influence of alcohol and vehicular manslaughter; as a passenger in the Mountaineer, 77-year-old Louis Hernandez Jr. of Santa Paula, was ejected and fatally injured in the crash. The driver of the Mountaineer was transported to the hospital with moderate injuries; passengers in the Camry reported minor injuries and were treated at the scene.

The traffic crash caused a single lane closure of the highway, which reopened shortly before 9 am. 

Any witnesses who might have seen the traffic crash are encouraged to contact the CHP Santa Barbara Area at (805) 967-1234.


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