Two VCSD deputies, SP woman injured in Highway 126 collision

April 21, 2010
Santa Paula News

Two Ventura County Sheriff’s deputies and a Santa Paula woman remain hospitalized at Ventura County Medical Center with major to critical injuries following a two-vehicle accident that occurred Saturday night east of Santa Paula.

Santa Paula Police and Fire personnel also responded to the scene of the collision that occurred April 17 shortly before 9 p.m. on Highway 126, west of Timber Canyon Road.

According to California Highway Patrol Officer Steve Reid, VCSD Deputy William Meixner and his partner, Deputy Beau Rodriguez, had just completed a traffic stop on eastbound 126 near Willard Road in Santa Paula. The two deputies were driving east on Highway 126 when a red GMC pickup truck on the south side of the highway made a sudden left-hand turn out of a driveway in front of the patrol car.

Meixner, according to Reid, hit his brakes and steered to the left, but struck the truck, driven by Mayra Tellez, 22, of Santa Paula, on the front end of the left side. The truck overturned and came to rest on its left side in the two-way turn lane of the highway. The VCSD patrol vehicle crossed the highway and hit a guardrail, the car coming to rest in the westbound shoulder facing west.

Santa Paula Police Sergeant Ryan Smith and Santa Paula Fire Engine #81 were first on scene, and Fire Chief Rick Araiza said there was evidence the engine compartment of the VCSD patrol had briefly caught on fire.

Tellez’s passenger, Jose Velasquez Diaz, 27, of Santa Paula, was able to climb out of the truck after the collision. The two deputies remained trapped in the patrol car until the Santa Paula and Ventura County Fire departments were able to extricate them. In all, 16 emergency response units were at the scene.

Tellez and the deputies were transported to VCMC with what were described as major to critical injuries. Both Meixner and Rodriguez were upgraded from critical to serious condition Sunday morning. Tellez remained in critical but stable condition Sunday. Diaz was taken to Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura, where he was treated and released.

Highway 126 was closed from Hallock Drive to “E” Street in Fillmore from 9 p.m. until 2:20 a.m. Sunday morning. The crash remains under investigation by the CHP; Reid said there is no indication alcohol was a factor.

Santa Paula police officers who responded to the incident were invited to an accident debriefing at the VCSD Fillmore Police Station Sunday evening. The Sheriff’s Department has offered their chaplain to counsel SPPD officers that worked the incident.

“We had both Engine #81 and Engine #82 at the scene,” and Araiza noted SPFD personnel used the department’s new jaws of life in the joint rescue of the deputies from their patrol vehicle.


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