(Photo courtesy Ventura County Sheriff Aviation Unit)
UPDATED--One person was killed in a crash Tuesday afternoon on Highway 126 between Fillmore and Piru.
The CHP says it happened at 1:10 PM on the 126 at Hopper Canyon Road.
They say a 2015 gray Honda Civic was westbound on the highway when for some unknown reason it crossed into the eastbound lanes where it collided head on with a water truck that was traveling eastbound.
The male driver of the Honda, who has not been identified yet, was trapped in the wreckage and later pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver of the water truck, a 60-year-old Fresno man, received only minor injuries.
The crash shut down the highway to allow the sheriff's helicopter to land, although it was ultimately not needed.
The entire roadway was closed for a half hour and then one lane in each direction was opened up, but the incident caused a significant traffic backup in that area until about 4:30 PM when the roadway was completely cleared.
The CHP is investigating the crash.
(Photo courtesy VPD)
Ventura police say they've concluded a lengthy investigation with the arrest of a man for child sexual abuse and kidnapping.
Police say that on December 7, 2014, they received a report of lewd conduct with a child in the 800 block of N. Ventura Avenue.
They say a 6-year-old boy told a patrol officer that a man who was known to him and his family has sexually assaulted him.
Police say the boy told them he was playing outside of his home when the suspect picked him up and took him to another residence where the assault occurred.
The suspect was known to the victim as "Don Pepe."
Ventura police detectives began a follow up investigation that included extensive laboratory testing.
They say those tests supported the boy's statement.
Today, police arrested 55-year-old Jose Morales of Ventura in the 200 block of E. Main Street.
He was booked into the Ventura County Jail for an unlawful act with a child under 10 years of age and kidnapping to commit a crime.
His bail was set at $1.240,000 and he is due in court Friday afternoon for arraignment.
Police are asking anyone who might have information on this case or other potential victims to call Detective Edwards at (805) 339-4328.
The USFS says the 282 acre "Chorro Fire" in the Los Padres National Forest north of Ojai is now 90% contained.
They say efforts to fully contain the fire continue while mop operations to make sure the fire is out are also underway.
The fire has shown no growth since Monday morning.
About 330 fire personnel are assigned to the fire which broke out Sunday afternoon along Highway 33 near the Chorro Grande trailhead some 20 miles north of Ojai.
No structures were threatened and the only evacuations concerned two campgrounds in that area.
One minor injury was reported Tuesday.
They say the investigation into the fire continues but they believe it was human-caused.
Highway 33 through the Los Padres was reopened Tuesday morning.
An Anaheim man accused of lewd acts with a child in Oxnard has decided not to fight the charges.
31-year-old Mario Alberto Rocio was scheduled to have a preliminary hearing Monday but instead changed his plea to no contest.
The court then found him guilty of several counts of forcible lewd acts on a child and found true several special allegations.
Rocio was arrested in February of last year by Oxnard police.
He was accused of sexual abuse with a child from Oxnard who was under the age of ten.
Rocio is being held without bail and we be sentenced on August 31st.
(Photo courtesy Ventura County Sheriff Aviation Unit)
Updated at 6 PM—A wildfire that broke out Sunday afternoon in the Los Padres National Forest north of Ojai is now 70% contained at 280 acres.
The fire was reported around 1:15 PM Sunday along Highway 33 at the Chorro Grande trailhead, about 20 miles north of Ojai.
Highway 33 between Wheeler Gorge and Lockwood Valley Road has been closed since then, but it’s expected to be reopened Tuesday morning at 8 AM.
USFS Spokesman Manny Madrigal told KVTA News the fire has not grown since Sunday night and the retardant-dropping fixed wing air tankers and water-dropping helicopters were not needed Monday.
He says right now it’s all up to the hand crews who are working to complete containment lines and other firefighters putting out hot spots within the interior of the fire area.
There are several hundred firefighters assigned to the fire.
Madrigal says the fire was human-caused, but the investigation continues into exactly how it started.
Two campgrounds were evacuated, as was the trail, but no structures were threatened and no residences were evacuated.
No injuries have been reported.
Soule Park in Ojai has been closed so it can serve as a base camp and staging area for firefighters and equipment.
The Soule Golf Course remains open.
The two men charged in connection with a Santa Paula gang shooting that left an innocent bystander dead have been ordered to stand trial.
The judge made that ruling following a preliminary hearing for 32-year-old Mark Martinez and 23-year-old Valente Tobias, both from Santa Paula.
They are charged with murder in the shooting death of 39-year-old Norma Elizalde of Santa Paula on the afternoon of March 29, 2014.
Prosecutor Catherine Voelker tells KVTA News that Elizalde was on the back porch of her home in the 1200 block of High Street doing laundry when rival Santa Paula gang members got into a confrontation out on the street out front and there was an exchange of gunfire.
A stray bullet passed through Elizalde’s home and struck and killed her.
Voelker says the evidence indicates that the bullet was fired by Martinez and he is charged directly with the death of Elizalde.
He could face the death penalty, although the DA’s office has not decided yet if they will seek that.
Tobias is also charged with murder because of his involvement in the confrontation and shooting and he could face life in prison.
A third defendant already pleaded guilty to charges in connection with the case.
Ventura police say a man told them a knife-wielding woman tried to stab him and he hit her.
The incident was reported shortly after noon Sunday in the 200 block of N. Ventura Avenue.
Police received a number of 911 calls about two subjects fighting on the sidewalk.
Officers found a 33-year-old Ventura man who told them he was riding his bicycle when a female got out of a parked car and confronted him about a verbal altercation they had earlier.
The man told officers the woman pulled a folding knife and came at him.
The man said he defended himself by hitting the woman and she dropped the knife, got back in the vehicle, and drove off.
Officers recovered a knife.
The man was not injured, the woman, believed to be around 40 years old, is still at large.
(Photo courtesy Ventura County Fire Department)
UPDATE--A wildfire burning in the Los Padres National Forest north of Ojai has burned more than 200 acres of heavy fuels and timber.
It was reported around 1:20 PM Sunday in the Chorro Grande trailhead area just off Highway 33.
Firefighters from the US Forest Service and Ventura County Fire Department are involved in battling the fire.
They say it's growing fast.
No structures are threatened.
The CHP was closing Highway 33 from Wheeler Gorge on the south to Lockwood Valley Road on the north.
The Ventura County Medical Examiner's Office has released the name of the pilot who was found dead in the wreckage of his plane near Santa Paula Saturday.
They say 82-year-old James Breeding lived in the Santa Paula area.
The Medical Examiner's Office also says they believe that Breeding's Cessna 337 crashed not long before it was discovered by a passerby Saturday in an oil field on South Mountain, across the Santa Clara River from the Santa Paula Airport where Breeding was based.
Early reports from the FAA and others indicated it had been there for at least a couple of days, but the Medical Examiner says the crash was on Saturday.
An autopsy is scheduled for Monday.
The Cessna 337 is a twin engine plane with one engine in front the other at the rear.
Oxnard police are looking for suspects and a motive for a shooting Saturday night that left one person wounded by gunfire.
It happened around 9:20 PM in the 1300 block of Saviers Road.
Police say that an 18-year-old male from Oxnard was shot several times.
He was taken to the hospital where police say he is in serious, but stable condition.
Witnesses told police there were at least two male suspects involved.
Police released no other information about the shooting.
Anyone with additional information is being asked to call the OPD Violent Crimes Hotline at 982-7070 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
Updated--Santa Paula police say they've arrested a 14-year-old for stabbing an 8-year-old boy in a park Saturday.
The incident happened around 3:50 PM in Teague Park in the 500 block of W. Harvard Boulevard.
Police say the victim was taken to VCMC and is expected to recover.
Santa Paula PD detectives are investigating the incident.
Because of the ages of both the suspect and victim, no names will be released.
(Photo courtesy Ventura County Sheriff Aviation Unit)
Updated--One person is dead in a plane crash near Santa Paula.
It is believed to have actually happened several days ago, but was not discovered until Saturday afternoon.
According to the FAA a passerby spotted the wreckage about 2:30 PM on South Mountain on the other side of the Santa Clara River from Santa Paula Airport.
According to the FAA it was all that was left of a Cessna 337.
One person was found dead in the wreckage.
Ventura police say they've arrested a young man in connection with an indecent exposure incident outside the Pacific View Mall.
They say that Thursday around 1 PM officers were called to an area near the JC Penney's in the 300 block of Mills Road to a report of a young man engaged in lewd acts.
During their investigation, police learned that the victim was sitting on a bench outside of the store when the suspect approached her and asked what time it was.
The victim told police the suspect then sat down next to her and after several minutes he got up...but his pants were down.
The victim quickly left and called police to report what happened.
Officers checked the area and found 19-year-old Tyler White sitting near the bus depot at the north end of the mall.
Police say the victim identified him as the suspect and White was arrested for misdemeanor indecent exposure.
According to court records, White was convicted of the same crime in 2014 and received 30 days in jail and three years probation.
Police say that over the past two weeks, there have been similar type incidents reported to the Ventura Police Department, but White could not be identified.
The department is asking the public, if they recognize White (see attached photo) and were possibly a victim of indecent exposure by White, to please call the Ventura Police Department at 339-4441.
According to jail records, White was arrested and jailed Monday for an unspecified crime and then released Wednesday, a day before the mall incident.
According to court records, in addition to the 2014 indecent exposure conviction, White also had separate misdemeanor convictions for public drunkenness and taking a weapon on a school campus.
(Photo is courtesy of Tom Harrison)
One person suffered serious injuries in a collision between a van and a trash truck in Ventura Saturday afternoon.
It happened around 1 PM at the intersection of Valentine Road and Sperry Avenue.
Preliminary indications are that the trash truck was making a left turn from westbound Valentine to southbound Sperry when it collided with the van going eastbound on Valentine.
The driver of the van was trapped in the wreckage and it required an extensive extrication by Ventura City firefighters to free the man from the wreckage.
He was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.
There were no other injuries.
The crash is under investigation by VPD's traffic division.
(Photo courtesy of Lety Santoyo-Medina)
Updated--Ventura police were investigating an injury crash Friday morning that sent the driver to the hospital with serious injuries.
It happened around 6:40 AM on westbound Telephone Road at Partridge Drive, just a block east of the Ventura County Government Center.
It was a solo vehicle crash involving a pickup truck that crashed into some trees.
The driver, a male, was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.
VPD says DUI was NOT involved in this crash.
Telephone Road has been down to one lane westbound in that area for most of the morning.