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Well-known Orcutt man recovering from serious crash

In Orcutt, friends and family of a local man are pulling for him after he was badly hurt in a traffic accident. He’s well known in Orcutt because of the car he drives – a ’59 Cadillac which is something of a local icon.

Just about everywhere you go in Orcutt, there’s someone who knows 87-year-old John Shuffield.

“Old Orcutt, he’s been around for a lot of years,” Shuffield’s grandson Chad Shuffield said.

And with this bright cherry red, 18 foot long, 59′ Cadillac – how could you miss him.

“I know he’s John Shuffield to everybody, but to me he’s Grandpa Pill,” Chad said.

Shuffield’s grandsons have been staying by their grandfather’s side in the hospital. Wednesday afternoon, Shuffield crashed his iconic Cadillac into a pole on Clark Avenue in Orcutt – but it hasn’t crushed his spirit.

“Every car show he goes to, he brings home some trophy or certificate,” Shuffield’s grandson Mike Shuffield said.

Shuffield was flown to Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara where he’s recovering from major injuries.

“He’s conscious, we’re just waiting on tests right now, coherent, in and out, kind of knows where he’s at one minute, the next minute he thinks he’s at home,” Chad said.

CHP is still trying to figure out exactly what caused him to crash.

It’s at The Golden Donut in Orcutt where Shuffield comes nearly every day to enjoy a cup of coffee.

“Well he shows up here almost everyday, sits in that chair over there, has his Korean War hat on, smoking his pipe,” Orcutt resident John Allen said.

Allen says, if the war didn’t kill him, this won’t either – and his mechanic over at Rick’s Car Care, agrees.

“He had stopped by the day before this all happened on Wednesday to talk about the Cadillac,” Rick’s Car Care manager Terry Daigle said. “A sad ordeal that that cars damaged and he’s hurt. He is a car guy, he loves his cars, that’s for sure.”

Daigle says Shuffield is always up for talking cars.

“All our prayers are with him that’s for sure,” Daigle said.

“He’s a tough, tough guy, so I have full confidence in him,” Chad said.

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