Santa Paula Times

Three Santa Paulans killed in separate accidents in less than a month

January 20, 2012
Santa Paula News

The traffic collision Wednesday that killed a 36-year-old area woman was the third fatality to involve a Santa Paulan in less than a month.

Melissa Ortiz was killed Wednesday, January 18 on Foothill Road near Aliso Canyon Road when for an unknown reason she lost control of her vehicle, hitting a dump truck carry aggregate head-on.†

The CHP is still investigating the collision, but said the driver of the truck tried to take evasive action when for an unknown reason Ortizís Saturn drifted across the center divider and struck his vehicle head-on. Ortizís vehicle was thrown into a ditch, where it landed on its rooftop.†

On January 15 Victor Arenas, 20, died when the vehicle he was riding in struck a parked motor home on the shoulder of Pacific Coast Highway at the Faria Beach campground. Another Santa Paulan, the driver of the vehicle, Abram Pineda, 20, was arrested for suspicion of drunk driving and other charges related to the crash that killed Arenas. Pineda and three others in the motor home and a trailer parked nearby that was also struck sustained minor injuries.†

On December 20 Justeen Nicole Baca-Jimenez, 20, was killed in a single vehicle accident on South Mountain Road. Baca-Jimenez was alone at the time of the crash that occurred just before noon.

A witness told the CHP that Baca-Jimenezís Honda suddenly veered off the road and struck and jumped over a curb, falling into a ditch where it overturned. The roof and driverís side came to rest against the cobblestone wall of a residence located on South Mountain Road. Baca-Jimenez was wearing a seat belt at the time of the collision, according to the CHP.