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Retired sheriff’s lieutenant killed in crash on storm-damaged road near Santa Maria

A driver was killed late Saturday night when his pickup went into a sinkhole on a closed portion of Orcutt Garey Road, just east of Dominion Road, near Santa Maria.
A driver was killed late Saturday night when his pickup went into a sinkhole on a closed portion of Orcutt Garey Road, just east of Dominion Road, near Santa Maria.

Update: 11:30 a.m. Monday

A retired Santa Barbara County sheriff’s lieutenant was killed Saturday in a single-vehicle crash on a rural road east of Orcutt, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Ronald “Sonny” LeGault, 62, of Santa Maria, was westbound on Orcutt-Garey Road when, for unknown reasons, he drove his 2003 Ford F-150 pickup “off of the roadway, around barriers and directly into a sinkhole located on Orcutt Garey Road,” the CHP reported.

LeGault worked at the Sheriff’s Department for 33 years before he retired in 2011, according to sheriff’s spokeswoman Kelly Hoover.

The CHP was handling the crash investigation, and the sheriff’s Coroner’s Office is conducting a death investigation, Hoover said.

Original story

A driver was killed late Saturday in a single-vehicle crash on a rural road east of Santa Maria, according to the California Highway Patrol. The road has been closed for several months because of winter storm damage.

The wreck happened shortly before 10 p.m. on Orcutt Garey Road, just east of Dominion Road.

A pickup truck reportedly went around a road-closure barrier that was put in place after a large sinkhole developed during winter storms.

The victim, whose name was not released pending notification of relatives, was declared dead at the scene, Santa Barbara County Fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni said.

Emergency personnel had difficulty reaching the scene because of the washed-out roadway.

Additional details were not immediately available.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at tbolton@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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