Highway 126 Fatal


On Tuesday, July 5, 2016 at 12:43 a.m., a traffic collision occurred resulting in a fatality in the unincorporated area of Ventura County, on State Route 126, west of Hopper Canyon Road.

Richard Jay Gutman, 53 years old, of Leona Valley, was driving a 2013 Nissan Sentra with two passengers. The Nissan was traveling eastbound in the number 2 lane of 126 west of Hopper Canyon Road.  Pedro Santiagolemus, 26 years old, of Arvin, was driving a 2008, Hino two axle box truck attempting to merge onto eastbound 126 from northbound SS&J Road (farming road approximately .3 miles west of Hopper Canyon).  For reasons still under investigation, the Hino box truck turned right (eastbound) from northbound SS&J Road into the number 2 lane of eastbound 126, directly into the path of the Nissan.  The right front passenger side of the Nissan struck the left rear of the Hino box truck, partially collapsing the passenger compartment.  The right front passenger, Audrey Gutman, 52 years old, sustained fatal injuries as a result of the collision.  Audrey Gutman was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the collision.  The two other occupants of the Nissan, Richerd Gutman and Thomas Belsheim, 53 years old, of Canoga Park, sustained minor injuries consisting of abrasions to their collar bone area from their seat belts. Richard Gutman and Belsheim were treated on scene by Ventura County Fire Paramedics and were released on scene. Santiagolemus was treated and released by Paramedics on scene without injuries.

This incident resulted in the closure of the number 1 and number 2 eastbound lanes and the number 1 westbound lane of 126 for approximately three and a half hours.  The number 2 westbound lane of 126 was used to alternate traffic through the scene.  The Ventura County Fire Department and Ventura County Sheriff’s Department responded to the scene and assisted with traffic control.

This collision is under investigation by the California Highway Patrol’s (CHP) Moorpark Area Office.  Any witnesses are encouraged to contact the CHP’s Moorpark office at (805) 553-0800.

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