Skypark investigation
Scotts Valley Police Department blocked off the main entrance to Skypark Saturday morning for a vehicle fatality investigation. However the popular recreation area, including the dog park, could still be accessed via other routes. (Drew Penner / Press Banner)

*Updated Jan 29, 2023 at 11:54am

One person died Saturday in a traffic incident just outside the popular Skypark recreation area in Scotts Valley, according to the Scotts Valley Police Department.

The initial call for service came in at 8:40am.

SVPD Sgt. Chris Galli told the Press Banner the SUV driver was pronounced dead at the location by Scotts Valley Fire Protection District firefighters following an incident involving a single vehicle.

main road blocked
Entrance to Skypark, pictured before noon on Saturday. (Drew Penner / Press Banner)

In a press release SVPD said it was determined a white Subaru collided with an unoccupied parked sedan in the skatepark parking lot.

Det. Sgt. Meredith Roberts told the Press Banner the vehicle careened into the ravine across the road after the initial crash.

The main access to Skypark was blocked off by police tape throughout the afternoon while the SVPD’s Traffic Unit investigated the area. Skypark itself—including the dog park and surrounding fields—remained open to the public.

Taking a photo
Taking a photo. (Drew Penner / Press Banner)

The victim was identified as Richard Wells, 63, of Santa Cruz County.

“The cause of the accident is still under investigation, however, prior to the collision the Subaru had been observed driving erratically in the Skatepark parking lot,” a police spokesperson said.

Police ask anyone with additional information about the collision to contact SVPD at (831) 440-5670.

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Drew Penner is an award-winning Canadian journalist whose reporting has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Good Times Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times, Scotts Valley Press Banner, San Diego Union-Tribune, KCRW and the Vancouver Sun. Please send your Los Gatos and Santa Cruz County news tips to [email protected].


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