By Raiza Giorgi

Three counts of murder “with malice aforethought” were filed Nov. 6 by the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office against John Roderick Dungan, 28, of Santa Barbara, in connection with a collision on Highway 154 that killed a Solvang woman and her two children. 

Dungan made his first Santa Barbara County Superior Court appearance before Judge Clifford Anderson, but Anderson delayed Dungan’s arraignment to Nov. 20. Before an arraignment, a substitution of counsel in the case was set for Nov. 15.

Deputy Public Defender Mindi Boulet objected to media requests to photograph the defendant in court, and Anderson decided to allow photographs of the hearing but not of Dungan.

Dungan was also injured in the crash near the Cold Spring Bridge on Oct. 25, and he was in critical condition for more than a week at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. He was booked into Santa Barbara County Main Jail on $2 million bail.

Dungan was driving west on Highway 154 about 4:45 p.m. on Oct. 25 when he crossed the double-yellow lines into oncoming traffic and collided with a vehicle driven by Rebecca Vanessa Goss Bley, 34, of Solvang, which then was hit by another vehicle from behind, and caught fire.

Bley and her 2-year-old daughter, Lucienne, and 4-month-old son, Desmond, were killed in the crash. 

The deaths have also prompted people in the Santa Ynez Valley to demand that the CHP step up their patrols. Several petitions have been created with more than 2,800 signatures on one asking local officials such as 3rd District Supervisor Joan Hartmann, the CHP and Caltrans to install speed monitor cameras to avoid more tragedies on Highway 154. 

An article at details other charges against Dungan, stalking and firearms-related incidents in March, which are being prosecuted in Santa Barbara Superior Court. 

The criminal complaint after the fatal collision also accuses him of committing the alleged murders while released from custody on bail or his own recognizance for the March case. 

Watch for updates on this case.

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland contributed to this story. She can be reached at