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Murder charges upheld for Santa Barbara man in Hwy 154 collision that killed Solvang mother, children

Murder charges upheld for Santa Barbara man in Hwy 154 collision that killed Solvang mother, children

From the What you need to know for Wednesday, October 21 series
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Murder charges against a Santa Barbara man accused in the deaths of a Solvang mother and her two children in a fiery car wreck on Highway 154 were upheld following a two-day preliminary hearing examination last week. 

Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Thomas Adams upheld three counts of murder, plus an enhancement, against John Roderick Dungan, 29, of Santa Barbara who is accused of killing 34-year-old Rebecca Vanessa Goss Bley and her two children, 2-year-old Lucienne Bley Gleason and 4-month-old Desmond Bley Gleason in a three-car wreck near Cold Spring Bridge on Oct. 25, 2019. 

California Highway Patrol officials believe the crash was intentionally caused by Dungan, who pleaded not guilty to all charges on Nov. 20, 2019. 

Adams issued a gag order on Jan. 10, preventing officials from commenting publicly about the case. 

The collision reportedly occurred at about 4:45 p.m., when Dungan's 2014 Chevrolet Camaro crossed the center line into oncoming traffic and struck the 2013 Chevy Volt driven by Bley head-on at an unknown speed, according to a CHP report. 

The Volt was struck from behind by a GMC Yukon, causing both vehicles to burst into flames and igniting a grass fire that burned 8 acres along the hillside. 

The identities of Bley and her children were confirmed using ANDE Rapid DNA testing, according to Santa Barbara County Sheriff's spokeswoman Raquel Zick. 

Dungan's next court date is set for Dec. 4 in Department 10 of Superior Court in Santa Barbara. 

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