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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Three motorcyclists die in two separate accidents


    Two separate accidents Sunday, one near Lockwood Valley and one within the city limits of Ojai, killed three people, according to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department.

    The Ojai accident was reported around 2:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon on West Ojai Avenue across from South Hermosa Road in Ojai, said Capt. Paul Higgason.

    Higgason said a man and a woman who had been riding a motorcycle were killed in the accident. There names were not released.

    West Ojai Avenue was closed from Villanova Road to Hermosa Road for the investigation. The road was opened about 7:45 p.m.

    The motorcycle and an SUV collided head-on, said Sgt. Randy Watkins, who was at the scene. Watkins said the SUV was heading northbound and the motorcycle was southbound on the wrong side of the road. He said investigators were working to determine why the motorcycle was on the wrong side of the road.

    A black SUV was on the right side of the road near one of the victim’s bodies and the other victim’s body was on the left side of the road. By 5:30 p.m., both bodies had been taken from the roadway.

    There were two people in the SUV, according to John Popp, a senior deputy in the traffic division. Popp said the driver suffered a hand injury but was not taken to a hospital.

    Friends of the victims gathered behind the yellow tape officers had stretched around the scene.

    Kristy Butler of Oak View had seen a post on Facebook that her friend had been killed in the crash. She came out to the site with her mother, Anita Butler, and cousin David Gezzer.

    “”They were awesome people,”” said Anita Butler, who said she had known the man since high school and seen him regularly at her work. “”They were both good-hearted.”” She said they were Oak View residents who had been dating.

    An earlier accident occurred around 1:20 p.m. on Highway 33 near mile marker 46, about three to four miles south of the sheriff department’s Lockwood Valley ranger station, according to Higgason.

    Higgason said four motorcyclists were down in that accident. One was killed, two were flown to Ventura County Medical Center and one was taken by ambulance to Ojai Valley Community Hospital, according to the California Highway Patrol. Names of the motorcyclists were not released.

    The Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office will be conducting autopsies to determine the cause of death in both accidents Monday.

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