Abel Maldonado’s son in second fatal crash

August 14, 2014

yellowThe son of former Lt. Governor Abel Maldonado was a passenger in a truck that struck and killed a cyclist on Foxen Canyon Road in Santa Maria on Saturday.  [KCOY]

A 16-year-old driver and Nicolas Maldonado, 18, were in the truck towing a horse trailer when it struck and killed a Chula Vista man. Matthew Troy O’Neill,33, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Neither Maldonado nor the unnamed driver were injured in the accident. Investigators do not think drugs or alcohol were a factor in the incident.

In July 2014, Maldonado was riding with his mother when a driver failed to heed a stop sign also on Foxen Canyon Road in Santa Maria. The driver of that car died and Madonado and his mother were sent to a local hospital for treatment of minor injuries.


  1. OnTheOtherHand says:

    An interesting article in “The Independent” (Santa Barbara’s version of New Times), http://www.independent.com/news/2014/aug/19/investigation-bicyclists-death-continues/, tells a more complete story about this incident.

    It turns out that the 16-year old driver was also a son of Abel Maldonado. It also turns out that the cyclist killed was noted for riding as safely as possible — not only by those who knew him but by people who had seen him on the road just prior to the accident (“on the far right edge of the road” and “lit up like a Christmas tree”).

    The only possible mitigating circumstances that I can see from the article is that the driver MAY have been somewhat blinded by a setting sun. I am more inclined to think that distracted or aggressive driving was involved.

    The latter is why I hate it when I read comments by people taking the step from being annoyed by specific instances of misbehavior by certain members of a group (cyclists) to generalized anger at all members of that group. I would not be surprised if the immature young driver had internalized that attitude and allowed him to rationalize an aggressive attitude toward any cyclist he encountered on the road.

    Please be careful with generalizations. Not only is it an intellectually lazy way of dealing with others in society, it can have more serious consequences in instances like this and it also increases the polarization of society in general.

    (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  2. indigo1955 says:

    The law of attraction.

    (-4) 6 Total Votes - 1 up - 5 down
  3. dogeatdog says:

    I feel for a person who has been in the vehicles involved with TWO fatal collisions. I don’t care who you are, who your father is, that messes with someone mind.I sure hope the person talks to someone about what they have scene and witnessed. I would figure getting in a car could be very traumatizing to someone who has just gone through something that horrific. My heart also goes out to the family of the person who died.

    (24) 34 Total Votes - 29 up - 5 down
    • ironyman2000 says:

      To even hint at the kid’s father because you don’t like his politics is callous cynical b.s.

      (6) 24 Total Votes - 15 up - 9 down
      • OnTheOtherHand says:

        You may be reading something into his comments. The article itself brings up the kid’s parentage and I didn’t take dogeatdog’s comment as a negative reflection on his father.

        (5) 13 Total Votes - 9 up - 4 down
  4. womanwhohasbeenthere says:

    I believe the DMV code specifies that 16 year-old drivers are not allowed to drive other teenage passengers without an adult aged 25 or older with them. So this kid was violating an important restriction on his drivers license. I don’t know if there is a consequence for the passenger but there is for the driver. Maybe someone more familiar with the DMV could enlighten us.

    (20) 30 Total Votes - 25 up - 5 down
    • topper01 says:

      You are correct: CVC 12814.6 (a)(5)(b)(1)(B) {Dang enough subs already} says shall not: Transport passengers who are under 20 years of age.

      Which is ironic because I had a (out of state) driver’s license at 14 yrs with no restrictions and a commercial at 17 yrs (intrastate only). I guess maturity has a lot to do with being able to handle a vehicle.

      (-2) 8 Total Votes - 3 up - 5 down
      • BeenThereDoneThat says:

        Curious what state and year?

        (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
        • topper01 says:

          Mid-West ~ Early 1950s. Exception for attending school where no school bus service was available. Commercial license (called a chauffeur’s license, thou I could not chauffeur a person) was for driving the family owned trucks for farming and logging and not for hire.

          (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
    • ironyman2000 says:

      The DMV code does not specify any such thing about 16 year old fully licensed drivers.
      Do not drink and post.

      (-12) 14 Total Votes - 1 up - 13 down
      • Pelican1 says:

        It’s Top from the Trib site.

        (0) 4 Total Votes - 2 up - 2 down
        • MaryMalone says:


          (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down
        • topper01 says:

          Did you research it? That was a “cut and paste”, not some thing made up. But since you are so quick to criticize that which you know nothing about, let me give you a more complete cite: http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d06/vc12814_6.htm

          (-2) 2 Total Votes - 0 up - 2 down
        • topper01 says:

          Not at all. Top and I have had many disagreements. In fact I do not recall ever agreeing with her. I refused to pay for the tribs subscription. That is why you never see me there.

          (-2) 2 Total Votes - 0 up - 2 down
    • BeenThereDoneThat says:

      As someone with teen drivers it works like this. They changed it about ten years ago so that yes you can’t transport anyone under a certain age and that once you are lic. you have to drive for a year (to get experience and not distracted) before you can then transport without the restrictions. If you turn 18 before that year is up it doesn’t matter then. Oh and they even put the date of lic. issue so that way you know when year is up.

      (4) 4 Total Votes - 4 up - 0 down
  5. Ishmael09p says:

    Go back to chiming in with inflammatory and ridiculous conjecture, Kevin. If you begin an earnest search for your fans, it could lead to bitterness and anti-social behavior.

    (0) 26 Total Votes - 13 up - 13 down
  6. Pelican1 says:

    Perhaps the Maldonado’ should hire the attorney representing the Rittger’s. No doubt he could sue the bicyclist, the horse trailer manufacturer, the city of Santa Maria, the city of Chula Vista, the county, the state…oh and the bicycle manufacturer.

    (-10) 32 Total Votes - 11 up - 21 down
  7. Cindy says:

    Maybe the story should be about “Foxen Canyon Road in Santa Maria”.

    However, it is uncanny that within the last 4-6 weeks, the same person has been involved in an incident not ONCE but TWICE (ie: vehicle crash) where a person was killed and on the same road. Geez what are the odds?

    (4) 16 Total Votes - 10 up - 6 down
    • Citizen says:

      CCN got the date of the former accident wrong. It happened when Maldenado was running for Lt. Governor.

      (11) 15 Total Votes - 13 up - 2 down
  8. Kevin Rice says:

    I’m not sure it’s really newsworthy just because the son of a defunct political reject was riding as passenger. Make the article about the accident, not the irrelevant kid.

    (34) 72 Total Votes - 53 up - 19 down
    • kayaknut says:

      Let me guess, you are not a fan of Able Maldonado.

      (7) 29 Total Votes - 18 up - 11 down
      • MajorityFan says:

        Most likely because, unlike Rice, Maldonado had won an elected position.

        (4) 42 Total Votes - 23 up - 19 down
      • Kevin Rice says:

        Let’s not jump to conclusions. But, really, are there any fans?

        (0) 36 Total Votes - 18 up - 18 down
        • Jorge Estrada says:

          Yes for the big hit, uruapan Mexican Lucky. (seperate from the tragety)

          (-16) 20 Total Votes - 2 up - 18 down

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