Wednesday, October 7 , 2015, 9:04 am | Fair 67º

Three Injured in Crash Involving Stolen Vehicle

By Tom Bolton, Noozhawk Executive Editor | @tombol |

Three Santa Maria residents suffered moderate injuries Sunday when their car was struck head-on by a stolen pickup truck, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The crash occurred at about 3:20 p.m. on Donovan Road in Santa Maria, the CHP said.

The driver of the stolen vehicle — a 2008 Chevrolet Colorado — was identified by the CHP as Juan Benitez, 21, of Arroyo Grande.

An officer tried to stop Benitez on southbound Highway 101 in Nipomo, the CHP said, but he fled at a high rate of speed and left the freeway at the Broadway exit.

According to the CHP, Benitez sideswiped four cars before slamming head-on into a Mazda 626 driven by Claudio Ramirez, 22, of Santa Maria.

Ramirez and two passengers — Erica Martinez, 19, and Hector Ramirez, 20, both of Santa Maria — were transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital with moderate injuries, the CHP said.

A 2-year-old girl who also was in Ramirez’s car was sitting in a child-safety seat and was uninjured, the CHP said.

Benitez also suffered moderate injuries, and was taken to Marian Regional Medical Center, the CHP said.

A one-block section of Broadway was closed for about two hours at Donovan Road while authorities tended to the injured, cleared the wreckage and investigated, the CHP said.

Benitez was taken into custody, but charges were pending late Sunday, the CHP said.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

comments powered by Disqus

» on 02.05.13 @ 10:26 AM

Anchor babies and welfare gone wild..

Poor California is starting to look like dirty T.J Mexico..

These kids have no respect for America, just like mom and dad who came here illegally.

When will the Democrats stop pandering for votes? Illegals, Lazy Welfare food stamp section 8 losers, and college kids who have never worked. Nice voting base for free hand outs, Workers your screwed!! 60% of your check goes to bloated government, JFK would cry if he saw what happen to the working man.

» on 02.06.13 @ 01:20 PM

About time to vote with my feet, this santa maria is a ill legal alien hell hole.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.


Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.