Here's a roundup of recent incidents and announcements from Ventura County agencies:
Brush fire east of Piru
VENTURA COUNTY — A brush fire outside Piru closed lanes of Highway 126 for a time Friday night as firefighters staged along the highway.
The blaze, dubbed the Telegraph Fire, was reported around 8:35 p.m. near Camino Del Rio, east of Piru and near the line with Los Angeles County, according to Ventura County Fire Department reports.
The fire was about 2 miles south of Highway 126, burning under power lines in rugged hillside terrain that was difficult to access.
California Highway Patrol reports indicated a power line had sparked, starting the fire, according to the agency's log, although the information could not immediately be confirmed.
Authorities closed some traffic lanes on the 126 so firefighting vehicles could stage on the eastbound roadway.
Los Angeles County fire crews assisted, with helicopters from both agencies deployed. Forward progress was stopped shortly after 9:50 p.m., with the fire kept to about a quarter of an acre.
Most lanes of the highway had been opened by 10:15 p.m.
Fatal accident on Highway 101
OXNARD — A Ventura woman, 61, was killed in a three-vehicle crash on northbound Highway 101 in Oxnard Friday afternoon.
The accident was reported around 1:47 p.m. just north of Oxnard Boulevard, according to the California Highway Patrol. Two pickup trucks and a sedan were involved.
All three vehicles had been traveling in the left lane of the freeway at the time, according to the CHP's account.
The Ventura woman had been driving a 2007 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 pickup. In front of her was a 2011 Ford F-250 pickup driven by a Ventura man, 53. In front of the Ford was a BMW 750i driven by a 75-year-old Camarillo man.
As traffic slowed, the woman's Chevy couldn't stop and hit the Ford, causing the crash, CHP officials said. Her name was not released pending notification of relatives.
The reasons for the collision remained under investigation, but neither alcohol nor drugs were considered a factor.
The driver of the Ford suffered minor injuries while the BMW driver had no injuries, officials said.
The crash blocked the left two lanes of the freeway, slowing northbound traffic through the corridor for several hours.
Driver identified in fiery Westlake Boulevard fatality
THOUSAND OAKS — Authorities have identified the driver killed in a single-car crash early Tuesday in Thousand Oaks.
Tyler D. Sauvageau, 26, was a resident of Thousand Oaks, according to the Ventura County Medical Examiner's Office.
The accident was reported shortly before 2 a.m. on Westlake Boulevard near Cloverleaf Street in the North Ranch neighborhood, according to the Ventura County Sheriff's Office.
Sauvageau had been driving northbound on the boulevard when his BMW sedan left the road and hit a tree in the center median before becoming engulfed in flames, authorities said. No one else was in the car.
A similar accident occurred two days earlier when a 20-year-old Thousand Oaks man was killed after crashing into a tree on Wendy Drive in Newbury Park, with his car also becoming engulfed in flames.
A roadside memorial with flowers and candles was visible at the Wendy Drive site this week to honor the driver, Anderson A. Palacios Alarcon.
The cause of Tuesday's crash on Westlake Boulevard remained under investigation as of Friday, sheriff's officials said.
Man found guilty in violent rape case
VENTURA COUNTY — A man accused of violent rape and assault over a period of years was found guilty of multiple felonies Friday in Ventura County Superior Court.
Jurors found Rodolfo Franco Fernandez, 41, guilty of forcible rape, sodomy by force, assault with intent to commit rape and other offenses, court records show. Jurors also found true special enhancements for multiple victims.
Franco Fernandez had been arrested in Oxnard last year for an assault in December 2020. Franco Fernandez reportedly lay down next to a woman sleeping on South C Street and started to assault and strangle her, police reported. The woman broke free and Franco Fernandez fled, leaving a face mask behind.
DNA testing of the face mask from the 2020 Oxnard incident linked him to two violent rapes in 2003, one in Oxnard and one in Ventura, the Ventura County District Attorney's Office said. He threatened to kill one woman who gave him a ride in Oxnard, then strangled her as he raped her in the back seat.
Less than a week later, while being given a ride to Ventura, he threatened the female driver with a knife and forced her to perform sex acts, authorities said.
Franco Fernandez remained at Todd Road Jail as of Saturday. A sentencing hearing is set for the morning of July 29 in courtroom 46. He faces a maximum sentence of 60 years to life plus four years in state prison, prosecutors said.
Witnesses sought in Simi collision
SIMI VALLEY — Simi Valley Police Department officials are seeking witnesses to a vehicle-versus-pedestrian accident that resulted in serious injuries Thursday.
The incident took place around 4:45 p.m. at Royal Avenue and El Monte Drive, near Sinaloa Middle School. No students were involved, a police official said.
The pedestrian suffered serious injuries but is expected to recover.
The driver is cooperating with police. Investigators found no indication of intoxication or impairment.
Anyone who saw the accident is asked to contact Senior Officer Travis White at 805-583-6187 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ventura City Fire chooses fire marshal
VENTURA — The Ventura Fire Department announced its selection of Brett Reed as the city's new fire marshal.
Reed will oversee community risk reduction programs in the fire prevention division, including review and inspection of development plans, defensible space inspections and investigations into causes of fires.
“Brett is a lifelong student of fire prevention, risk reduction and leadership,” said department Chief David Endaya in a statement. “He has a proven track record of developing, implementing and leading progressive change and holds himself and those around him to the highest standards.”
Reed said in a statement he was excited to take on the position. “It’s an honor to serve a city that I love and in a role that is vital to ensuring community safety," he said.
Reed has completed state fire inspector training, National Fire Academy fire inspection principles and other courses in fire and arson origin and cause determination.
He has previously served as a fire prevention specialist and supervisor with the agency and also worked in Mono County as a firefighter, fire engineer, EMT, inspector and hazardous materials specialist, officials said.
Items may be updated if more information becomes available.
This article originally appeared on Ventura County Star: Fatal crash on Highway 101 in Oxnard, more Ventura County news