San Luis Obispo, CA Motor Home And Auto Crash, Nov 1995


San Luis Obispo (AP) - A fiery crash on a highway dubbed "Blood Alley" killed five people, including the editor of the San Luis Obispo County Telegram-Tribune, his wife and their 12-year-old daughter, authorities said Sunday.
JEFF and ANN FAIRBANKS and their daughter, SIENA, died when their car burst into flames after a head-on crash with a motor home shortly before 5 p.m. Saturday, the California Highway Patrol said.
An 8-year-old daughter, GALEN, was pulled to safety. She underwent surgery Sunday to repair a punctured bowel and was listed in serious condition in the intensive care unit at Twin Cities Community Hospital in Templeton, said nursing supervisor Chris Gianoly.
Telegram-Tribune City Editor Mike Stover said the FAIRBANKS family was traveling through rural Shandon on the way home from a high school cross country meet where their 15-year-old daughter Courtney had competed.
Courtney took the team bus and was not in the car when the crash occurred, Stover said.
The FAIRBANKS were westbound on Highway 46, when a 30-foot motor home crossed into oncoming traffic and struck them head-on. A pickup truck then hit the FAIRBANKS' car from behind, pushing all three vehicles partially onto the shoulder, where they burst into flames, the CHP reported.
The accident killed the motor home's driver, 55-year-old RICHARD JENNINGS of Visalia, and the pickup driver, JEFFREY PAUL KENNEY, 28, of San Luis Obispo.
WILLIAM BIBLER, a passenger in the motor home, was transported to the burn unit at Valley Medical Center in Fresno with second-and-third-degree burns. BIBLER, 54, of Exeter was listed in serious but stable condition Sunday, said nursing supervisor Bill Musso. He said he did not know the extent of the burns.
Another motor home passenger, DONALD JOHNSON, 56, of Visalia, was treated for minor injuries at Twin Cities Community Hospital and released Saturday.
"Highway 46 is known as 'Blood Alley' because there are so many collisions there," Stover said. "A lot of the folks are in a hurry to the coast, a lot of people pass when they shouldn't."
JEFF FAIRBANKS, 46, and his 45-year-old wife ANN had both worked at the Telegram-Tribune since 1978, Stover said.
JEFF FAIRBANKS became editor in 1991.
"JEFF and ANN are two incredible people," Stover said. "They're both brilliant and funny and great to work with. They're fabulous journalists."

The Signal Santa Clarita California 1995-11-27