Women killed on Highway 154 high on drugs

January 13, 2013

Law enforcement officials have confirmed that the two women who were struck and killed on Highway 154 had a variety of narcotics in their systems at the time of their deaths. [Noozhawk]

Sara Ornelas, 54, of Santa Barbara, and Barbara Romero , 49, of Lompoc, were killed Dec. 21 after being struck by vehicles driving on the highway.


Flowers have been placed at a roadside memorial on Highway 154 where two women were killed after being struck by vehicles. Photo by Tom Bolton, courtesy of Noozhawk.

Flowers have been placed at a roadside memorial on Highway 154 where two women were killed after being struck by vehicles. Photo by Tom Bolton, courtesy of Noozhawk.


On Friday, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Sgt. Mark Williams told Noozhawk toxicology results revealed that Ornelas had methadone in her system, as well as metabolites that could be linked to morphine or codeine, as well as cocaine and heroin.

Romero’s results also revealed she was under the influence of amphetamine, methamphetamine, methadone and metabolites that could be linked to codeine, heroin or morphine.

On Dec. 21, the women were en route to the Chumash Indian Reservation in Santa Ynez when they pulled over near the entrance to a golf course. A small dog that was with them jumped out of the car and into the roadway, where it was struck and killed by a vehicle. One of the women ran into the road in pursuit of the dog, and also was struck.

The second woman went to the aid of her companion and was struck multiple times. Both died at the scene.

Officers arrested Martin Macarena, 48, of San Luis Obispo who allegedly struck one woman before fleeing the scene for felony hit-and-run.




  1. SLOTECH90 says:

    Citizen, everything is available on the streets. Methadone is actually more addictive than the skag
    (Heroin) is. It is not unusual for people who are clients of Methadone clinics and are using the long term variety, to mix it with another opiate (Heroin, morphine, codiene, etc) to get a longer “better” high.

    (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
  2. willieslo says:

    At their age (Sara Ornelas, age 54, of Santa Barbara, and Barbara Romero , age 49) they probably had an earlier orientation to some form of addictive substances..
    The old saying, “Once an addict always an addict” has “some” strong hold whether its drugs, cigarettes or alcohol.

    (12) 14 Total Votes - 13 up - 1 down
  3. obispan says:

    On one addiction, headed to another.

    (11) 13 Total Votes - 12 up - 1 down
  4. Citizen says:

    Can you even get methadone unless you’re a self proclaimed heroin addict and get it through a program? Is it available on the street these days?????

    (3) 7 Total Votes - 5 up - 2 down
  5. Cindy says:

    Just look at all those drugs! I know people suffer emotionally and attempt to self medicate but heroin, morphine, methamphetamine? It just doesn’t make any sense, it’s common knowledge how addictive these drugs are. These drugs become an all encompassing burden and literally dwarf any semblance of the initial problem that was causing the distress to begin with. It doesn’t work and worse, these self destructing drugs will call your name for the rest of your life. What’s wrong with people?

    My condolences to their family, loved one’s and yes, I also feel for the innocent little dog.

    (15) 21 Total Votes - 18 up - 3 down
  6. bobfromsanluis says:

    Wow. The sadness of this story just keeps growing. The only positive I can see is that the women didn’t crash into another vehicle and cause injury or death to someone else. Condolences to their families.

    (16) 24 Total Votes - 20 up - 4 down
    • photocal says:

      Going to the Indian reservation ?…. ..or …possibly the Cumash Casino ? We wouldnt want to mention the Casino in this article would We ?

      (14) 16 Total Votes - 15 up - 1 down
      • OldNed says:

        Taking the dog to play Texas Hold ‘Em? I’m not a big fan of the casino but it’s a pretty big stretch to link them to it just because they were on 154.

        (-5) 5 Total Votes - 0 up - 5 down
        • Zuma7 says:

          In an earlier story, it did say they were on their way to the casino.

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

            Old Ned….. You dont read well…. too old ? The fifth paragraph in the above story says, and I quote = ” The women were en route to the Chumash Indian Reservation” Possibly You may want to re-read the story before making any more comments !

            (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down

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