Man dies of natural causes following solo traffic accident
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula Police Department
Published: February 22, 2013
A 70-year-old man died of natural causes the day following a Tuesday traffic collision into a power pole that Santa Paula Police might never be able to determine the cause of. According to SPPD Sgt. Jeremy Watson, the incident occurred at about 11:30 a.m. February 19 when officers “responded to a report of a vehicle into a pole with power lines down” in the 100 block of Santa Maria Street.
At the scene an “elderly male subject was removed from the vehicle” and was walked away with assistance from the wrecked vehicle, but was immediately transported to Ventura County Medical Center. “It was a chaotic scene” with the live wires down said Watson.
The SPPD was notified “the next day,” Wednesday, February 20, that the driver “had passed away from natural causes having nothing to do with the accident itself." Watson said the man “was probably traveling at a high rate of speed when he collided with the Edison pole... it sheared it right in half,” and extensively damaged the left front of the driver’s vehicle.
“We’re still investigating but we’ll probably never know” what led up to the crash, as the driver “was on his way to the hospital within minutes and we were unable to get a statement from him.... It took away our opportunity to find out what led up to the accident,” although Watson said there is no doubt from the preliminary investigation that high speed was a factor. “You’d have to hit that pole going pretty fast to cut that pole in half,” he noted.
The identity of the man, who celebrated his 70th birthday about two weeks before his death, has not yet been released.
Due to the collision power was lost in an area south of Harvard Boulevard. Customers north of the area experienced brief power interruptions known as “brown outs.” About 125 SCE customers remained without power Tuesday evening, but the company reported that all power in the area had been restored by 7 a.m. Wednesday.