Nipomo man dies in fiery Santa Maria crash


A 53-year-old Nipomo man drove his pickup truck off Highway 101 in Santa Maria last week and slammed into a tree. The truck burst into flames, and Steven Christopher Aslanidis died.

On May 18, Aslanidis was reportedly driving recklessly and possibly crashed into the Santa Maria River Bridge. Aslanidis kept driving until he crashed into a tree off the highway near Main Street.

A CHP officer tried to pull Aslanidis out of the burning truck, but the smoke was too thick. Aslanidis died at the scene of the crash, either as a result of the impact of the collision or the fire.

It is unclear if the Nipomo man was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Autopsy and toxicology results are pending.