Ventura County – California State Highway 126, which serves as a primary connector between the state’s two principal north-south routes, US 101 on the coast and US I-5 several miles inland, is frequently the site of major vehicular mayhem.
One of the major factors contributing to its reputation as “blood alley” is that despite it being a sweeping, four-lane thoroughfare, opposing lanes are not divided by the sort of physical median barrier found on most freeways.
Compounding that danger, the 126 courses through the cities of Santa Paula and Fillmore, marked by a series of light-controlled intersections of varying speed limits.
It is not uncommon for vehicles to approach either of those cities at dangerously high rates of speed, prompting strict posted enforcement by both Ventura County Sheriff patrols and ubiquitous CHP units tasked with preserving public safety.
Adding to the usual dangers of traveling along the 126 during the holiday period are those who ignore the legislated proscriptions against consuming alcohol, medications, or drugs prior to getting behind the wheel of a car.
That appears to be a guideline ignored just after midnight on December 30th, when Francis Casillas, a 21-year-old motorist residing in The City of Oxnard, careened through the City of Fillmore at a high rate of speed and then, according to VCSD spokesman Sgt. Kevin Vaden, “lost control of her vehicle and collided with a power pole.”
Casillas, apparently inebriated to such a degree that she miraculously survived a crash of such force that her vehicle “sheared off” an Edison power pole at its base, was observed by responding officers as thoroughly intoxicated. She was then transported to Ventura County Jail and charged with driving under the influence.