(Photo courtesy Ventura City Fire)
(UPDATE-SB 101 AT 126 REOPENED AT 8:25 PM)
Updated---One person died Tuesday night after a vehicle suddenly veered off the southbound 101 Freeway and slammed into a eucalyptus tree, erupting into flames.
The crash was reported around 6:30 PM just south of the Telephone/East Main Street on ramp to southbound 101.
The driver, the only person in the four door SUV, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The crash and fire shut down all southbound lanes of the 101 with traffic diverted to the eastbound 126 until about 8:25 PM.
No word yet on exactly what caused the crash or the name of the driver.
(Photos courtesy Captain Barry Parker, Ventura County Fire Department)
Updated--A tree trimmer was critically injured Tuesday afternoon after he apparently came in contact with power lines in Simi Valley.
The incident was reported around noon in the 4100 block of Eileen Street which is an older residential neighborhood south of Cochran and east of Tapo Canyon Road.
When firefighters arrived on scene, they found the victim dangling 15 feet up a pine tree in the yard of a residence.
He was unconscious and unresponsive.
His co-worker was OK but trapped above him in the tree.
Firefighters had to wait until Edison crews arrived to de-energize the lines so they could rescue the two men.
They brought the injured victim down and began CPR and he was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
The other worker was not injured.
The two men were apparently private tree trimmers working at a private residence.
No other details were available.
Ventura police arrested a suspect in a stolen vehicle following a brief pursuit overnight.
The incident began around 2:15 AM Tuesday morning when a patrol officer saw a vehicle commit a traffic violation on Telegraph Road in east Ventura.
When the officer tried to pull the vehicle over, the driver sped off and that started a pursuit that went from Telegraph Road to Wells Road and then south into the unincorporated community of Saticoy.
The chase, which reached speeds up to 70 miles per hour, continued through Saticoy to the end of Aster Street where the driver and passenger of the vehicle jumped out and ran.
Police set up a perimeter and called in the K-9 unit.
The K-9 found one of the suspects hiding in a yard near Saticoy Park and that person was taken into custody.
Police say that 21-year-old Mauricio Yepez of Oxnard was jailed for possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of a controlled substance and evading.
No word on what happened to the second suspect.
No one was hurt.
(Photo by Alex Wilson, KVTA News)
A man who has spent the past 36 years in prison for a Ventura murder was released from the Ventura County Jail this afternoon after having his conviction thrown out due to what prosecutors agree was new evidence which cast doubt on his conviction.
68-year-old Michael Hanline was convcited of first degree murder in the 1978 killing of J.T. McGarry of Ventura whose body was found off Highway 33.
Hanline was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
But the California Innocence Project convinced the Ventura County DA's office to review the case and DNA analysis of evidence found at the crime scene cast doubt on Hanline's guilt.
The DA also agreed that reports that would have helped the defense at trial were improperly kept from the defense.
Earlier this month a judge vacated Hanline's conviction and today the judge ordered Hanline released on $2,500 bail pending a new trial.
The DA's office says that they will continue to investigate to see whether they will even seek a new trial.
Meanwhile, Hanline talked with reporters after being released from jail around 3 PM.
He will be monitored with a GPS ankle bracelet until he faces a new trial or the DA decides not to seek a new trial.
Incumbent Oxnard City Councilman Bert Perello has won a new term on the council, beating challenger Steve Huber by just ten votes (6680 to 6670).
Perello was one of two incumbent council members up for reelection with Carmen Ramirez easily winning reelection as the top vote getter.
And Mayor Tim Flynn won reelection as Mayor.
The Perello-Huber race was still in doubt as the last minute mail in ballots and provisional ballots had to be counted and that has been completed.
Ventura County Clerk Mark Lunn today announced the final results from the November 5th election.
He says a total of 203,783 ballots were cast, almost 60 percent of them by mail.
The final voter turnout was 47 percent.
Here are the final results in Ventura County:
Updated--Oxnard police are investigating the fatal stabbing of a man in the Colonia.
It was reported around 5:24 PM in the 500 block of Cooper Road near Garfield Street.
When officers arrived, they found a 27-year-old Oxnard man down in the parking lot suffering from at least one stab wound.
Paramedics tried to revive him but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police say his name is being withheld pending notification of his family.
Ininitial reports indicated three suspects last seen running north from the scene, but police say they have no suspects or motive for the killing which was Oxnard's eighth homicide of the year.
Police say they do NOT believe there is any connection between this killing and the stabbing death of 55-year-old Labh Nigah of Oxnard at Sierra Linda Park on November 13th.
There is a $10,000 reward offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for any homicide in the city of Oxnard.
Anyone with information on the killing on Cooper Road should call Detective Ken Tougas at (805) 200-5669 or for information about any homicide call the Violent Crimes Hotline at (805) 982-7070 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
Ventura police are looking for the suspect in a bank robbery that happened Monday afternoon.
They say that around 1:45 PM the suspect walked into the Chase bank branch at 7730 Telegraph Road and handed the teller a note that said he was armed with a gun and he wanted money.
The teller complied and gave the suspect an undisclosed amount of cash and the suspect fled the bank and was last seen riding away on a beach cruiser style bicycle.
No one was injured in the robbery and no weapon was ever seen.
Police described the suspect as a Hispanic male, mid 30's, 5'6" to 5'8" tall and 150-180 pounds with a mustache.
The FBI is assisting VPD with the investigation into the crime.
Anyone with information is asked to call VPD at (805) 339-4441.
Gasoline Prices continue to fall in Ventura County.
The latest from the Triple A Fuel Gauge Survey shows the average price for regular gasoline in the count as of this morning is $3.09 a gallon.
That is seven cents less than it was a seek ago, 35 cents below the price a month ago, and 48 cents under the price a year ago.
Gas Buddy is showing several stations around Ventura County with prices between $2.85 and $2.92 a gallon.
Meanwhile, the price of diesel fuel in Ventura County, while falling, is still more expensive than gasoline.
Triple A says as of this morning, it stands at $3.66 cents a gallon which is seven cents below a week ago, 18 cents under a month ago, and 40 cents less than a year ago.
Oxnard police say a pedestrian was critically injured after being struck by three vehicles that all left the scene, although one of the drivers later turned himself in.
It happened around 5:50 PM on Wooley Road at G Street.
Witnesses told police that a male pedestrian was struck by a vehicle and then hit by two additional vehicles before officers arrived at the scene.
All three vehicles fled the scene before police arrived.
Police found the male pedestrian down in the street suffering from major injuries which included head trauma, two broken legs and extensive internal injuries.
He was taken to VCMC where he is listed in critical condition.
Traffic investigators determined that the pedestrian, who was not identified, had been crossing Wooley Road near G Street outside of a marked crosswalk when he was hit by the three vehicles.
Police say that around 7 PM, the driver of an Acura Legend, 20-year-old Johnny Cruz Romero, of Oxnard, showed up at the Oxnard Police Department to surrender himself and say that he was involved in the incident.
Police found his vehicle parked in the 700 block of S. B Street and determined it had sustained damage consistent with the incident.
Romero was arrested and booked into the Ventura County Jail for felony hit and run causing great bodily injury.
(Photo courtesy of Zahay Tapia)
Updated-Oxnard police say they arrested four suspects in a shooting that injured a teenager Saturday night.
One suspect remains at large.
The incident happened around 8:20 PM Saturday when officers saw two people confront another group of people outside Gino's Italian Pizzeria at Cooper Road and McKinley Avenue.
During the confrontation, the officers witnessed one of the two suspects start shooting at the other group with a handgun.
Both subjects fled to a waiting vehicle and the vehicle fled the area with officers in pursuit.
The brief pursuit went south towards the Five Points area where the occupants got out of the vehicle at Donlon Avenue and Driffill Boulevard and started to run.
Officers captured four individuals, 19-year-old Carlos Guzman, 22-year-old Enrique Castellanos, 20-year-old German Librado, and 27-year-old Diego Guerrero, all of Oxnard.
Police believed a 5th suspect was still at large so they launched a major ground and air search for that individual that included the sheriff's helicopter, but they did not find that suspect.
They did recover the handgun used in the shooting.
Meanwhile, during the search, a 16-year-old male form Oxnard showed up at VCMC in Ventura suffering from two gunshot wounds to the upper body that police say were NOT life threatening.
(Photo courtesy Ventura County Fire Department)
The remaining half mile evacuation zone around Tuesday's hazardous material explosion, spill, and fire near Santa Paula was lifted at 4 PM Saturday.
At the same time, they have transitioned to the clean-up phase at the site of the incident at Santa Clara Waste Water company on Mission Rock Road.
The Ventura County Environmental Health Division and Environmental Protection Agency now have oversight over the activity at the site.
The owner has contracted with Patriot Environmental Services to conduct the clean-up operation.
There is no time frame for completing the clean-up.
Tuesday's explosion, spill, and fire sent 52 people to local hospitals, including 10 firefighters.
All but two of the victims were treated and released.
With the lifting of the evacuation order, all businesses in that area, with the exception of Santa Clara Waste Water, will now be able to reopen.
More information and updates will be available at vcemergency.com
The CHP is investigating a major injury crash in the Ventura County backcountry.
It was reported shortly after midnight Saturday morning in the Chief's Peak area of the Los Padres National Forest.
Initial reports indicated a green Toyota 4-Runner had plunged some 30-40 feet over the side of a road.
It's unclear if the vehicle was on a roadway at the time or was off road.
The sheriff's helicopter transported 4-5 individuals to VCMC to various injuries including at least one person with major trauma injuries.
The Ventura County Fire Department was involved in the rescue operation.
No other details were available.
The Ventura County Sheriff's Department revealed Friday that they have arrested three individuals in connection with what they say was a gang related killing in El Rio more than 20 months ago.
On March 6, 2013, 16-year-old Josue Lopez of Oxnard was shot to death as he walked in the 800 block of Stroube Street in El Rio.
The Sheriff's Major Crimes Unit investigated and during that investigation they determined the Lopez was killed by three gang members from Oxnard.
Friday, detectives revealed that at various times during the past 20 months they arrested three people, 19-year-old Christian Rodriguez, 20-year-old Jesus Morales, and 24-year-old Alejandro Cabrera, all from Oxnard, in connection with Lopez's death.
All are in the Ventura County Jail charged with murder.
The arrests were made at various times since the killing but detectives waited until now to reveal it.
All three have pleaded not guilty.
All three defendants are due back in court December 9th for what is known as an Early Disposition Conference.
Rodriguez is being held without bail while Morales's bail is set at $750,000 and Cabrera's bail was set at almost $1 million.
Oxnard police say they've made two arrests in connection with a shooting earlier this month that left a man injured.
It happened just after midnight on the morning of November 7th in the parking lot of a convenience store in the 2000 block of E. Pleasant Valley Road.
A 36-year-old Oxnard man was sitting in his car with his girlfriend.
He got out of his vehicle and got into an argument with a man who had just gotten out of his pickup truck in the same parking lot.
Police say during the argument, a second man got out of the pickup and shot the victim with a handgun.
The victim's girlfriend drove him to the hospital where police found them.
The victim was later transferred to VCMC in critical condition but is reportedly recovering.
Police say that on November 13th their SWAT team served search warrants at the homes of the two men they identified as being in that pickup truck.
At one residence, 21-year-old Cesar Sanchez of Oxnard of Oxnard was arrested for being an accessory to a crime.
At the other residence, the suspected shooter, 22-year-old Andrew Juarez Cortez of Oxnard, was not home.
Police say Cortez turned himself in to police Friday and was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon.
The investigation continues into Tuesday morning's explosion and hazardous material spill and fire near Santa Paula with the Ventura Count District Attorney's office now involved.
The DA's office sent investigators to a location on Palm Avenue in Santa Paula Friday to serve a search warrant in connection with the investigation.
The DA's would not comment on any other details of the warrant service or their investigation.
Meanwhile, hazardous materials crews and other specialists were still at the site of the incident on Mission Rock Road, just outside the city.
A Ventura County Fire Department spokesman told KVTA News that they continue to take samples of the volatile and flammable substance that spilled Tuesday morning in a continuing effort to identify what it is.
And on Friday afternoon, the Ventura County Sheriff's Department said that residents and business owners in the area that is still off limits for a half mile around the site could go onto the property from 2 PM to 5 PM.
Tuesday's incident began with an explosion of a vacuum truck at the Santa Clara Waste Water facility and that led to the spill of the unknown substance or substances that spontaneously combusted.
Ventura police were involved in a pursuit of a stolen vehicle Friday through a portion of the city, but they say the suspects managed to escape on foot.
The incident began around 11:24 AM when police received a call from the Sheriff's Department saying they had received notice of a LoJack hit on Victoria Avenue near the Ventura County Government Center.
Police responded and spotted the stolen vehicle traveling south on Victoria Avenue, towards the 101 Freeway.
When they tried to stop the vehicle, the driver sped off, turning westbound on Valentine Road.
Police say the suspect was driving recklessly, speeding and failing to stop at several red lights.
The vehicle then went south on Eastman Street from Market Street where it collided with the west curb, rendering the vehicle inoperable.
The driver and at least 2-3 passengers fled on foot into the industrial park.
Police searched the area but they say they did not catch the suspects.
The State Employment Development Department says 6,800 new non-farm jobs were created in Ventura County during the previous 12 months.
Every sector showed job growth during that period except for manufacturing which lost 100 jobs, financial activities which lost 100 jobs, and other services which lost 100 jobs.
The largest gains were construction which grew by 1,000 jobs between October 2013 and October 2014, trade, transportation and utilities which gained 1400 jobs, professional and business services which grew by 2800 jobs, and leisure and hospitality which gained 1500 jobs.
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate in Ventura County last month stood at 6.3 percent, down from 7.6 percent in October of last year but still higher than the national average of 5.5 percent.
Here is a link to the entire EDD news release: