NewsCovering Kern County


Looking back at the top local stories of 2021 on 23ABC

Posted at 11:23 PM, Dec 31, 2021
and last updated 2022-01-01 02:23:31-05

Tragedies, COVID-19, and News you can use: here’s a look back at some of the top stories that you were reading on our website.

Starting on New Year’s Eve into New Year’s day 2021, a deadly accident took the lives of three people and sent two to the hospital. The driver lost control and hit a tree in the center divider. Three passengers in the back car were ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene. Both the driver and the passenger in the front seat received minor injuries and were taken to a hospital.

Also in January, 13-year-old Nicolas Peterson took his last breath on the corner of Coffee and Hageman roads, after the motorcycle he was traveling on with his stepfather, Johnathan Deal, was involved in a collision. Peterson was in 7th grade at Fruitvale Junior High. His family described him as a tough, resilient being, who fought courageously through type 1 diabetes. He wanted to help young children struggling with diabetes when he grew up.

In the same month, a 24-year-old woman died in a crash in northeast Bakersfield. The woman was speeding in a Ford Expedition with 9 minors in the vehicle, when she lost control, causing the SUV to roll over multiple times along Alfred Harrel highway near Fairfax road. The newborn, toddlers and young kids sustained minor injuries but were stable.

In February, a local mother, just 30 years old, left behind her husband and her four children after what family and friends say were complications with covid-19. Larissa Hickey’s husband wrote on a 23ABC Facebook post saying "Please take covid seriously. My wife was only 30 years old with non-underlying problems."

In March, the Bakersfield City School District announced that after being remote due to the pandemic, they would gradually start to bring students and staff back on campus, as long as it was safe to do so. And there would still be distancing guidelines, masks, and self-health checks.

In May, a Bakersfield veterinarian has had his license revoked following complaints of negligence in the care of four animals. Mukand Sandhu, who owns and works at 4 Paws Pet Hospital in Southwest Bakersfield, had his license revoked effective may 27th… we also investigated the incident and obtained records from the California Veterinarian medical board showing Sandhu has been under fire before for similar allegations surrounding another dog and was placed on probation in march of 2017. He had with 25 violations in total.

In July, agents from the department of consumer affairs arrived and raided the Europhoria salon and swept through the building for several hours. It's not clear what they were looking for during the raid.

Also in July, four members of the Ramirez family in Wasco died due to gun violence. The Kern County Sheriff's SWAT team attempted to rescue several people from, what Sheriff Donny Youngblood said, was likely a domestic violence incident. A neighbor told 23ABC that she helped two young girls escape the home and is still devastated she couldn’t help the rest of the family. The neighbor went on to say she believed they were a very loving family who owned a muffler shop around the corner.

In that same tragedy, Kern County Sheriff Deputy, Philip Campas, died in the line of duty. A large funeral service was held in his honor and to remember his service.

Thank you for staying with us. We hope you’ll continue to be with us into the New Year too.