By Raiza Giorgi
Three counts of murder “with malice aforethought,” were filed Wednesday by the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office against John Roderick Dungan, 28, of Santa Barbara, for the crash that killed a Solvang woman and her two children.
Dungan was also injured in the crash near the Cold Spring Bridge on Highway 154, and 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, and his arraignment hearing is scheduled Friday morning in Santa Barbara County Superior Court, the District Attorney’s Office said in their press release.
Dungan was driving westbound on Highway 154 at roughly 4:45 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 25, when he crossed the double-yellow lines into oncoming traffic and collided into 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 four month old son, Desmond, were killed in the crash.
Santa Barbara County Coroner’s office confirmed the identities of the children as of last week, but were publicly identified before by Bley’s husband Max Gleason in a long post on Facebook.
The deaths have also prompted the Santa Ynez Valley community to demand the CHP step up their patrols. Several petitions have been created with more than 2,800 signatures on one asking local officials such as Third District Supervisor Joan Hartmann, the CHP and Caltrans to install speed monitor cameras to avoid more tragedies on Highway 154.
Read Noozhawk’s article on his other charges of stalking and firearms related incidents last March, currently being prosecuted by Santa Barbara Superior Court. The criminal complaint also accuses him of committing the alleged murders while released from custody on bail or his own recognizance for the March case, the press release stated.
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Noozhawk Executive Editor Tom Bolton contributed to this story. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.