Tuesday, December 1 , 2015, 10:20 pm | Fair 50º

Chase Ends in Crash, Arrest of 13-Year-Old Driver

By Lara Cooper, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @laraanncooper |

A bizarre incident in the Santa Ynez Valley resulted in the arrest Wednesday night of an unidentified 13-year-old runaway after a high-speed chase involving a stolen vehicle, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.

The incident began about 9:45 p.m. when a deputy attempted to pull over a driver in a 2004 Nissan Armada SUV at the intersection of of Alamo Pintado Road and Mission Drive in Solvang, according to Sgt. Mark Williams.

The deputy attempted a traffic stop after he noticed several things amiss about the vehicle, including that the back windshield wipers were operating even though it wasn’t raining, Williams said.

“He thought, ‘This person doesn’t know how to operate a vehicle very well,’” Williams said.

As the deputy approached, the car quickly sped away, heading eastbound on Highway 246.  At one point, the vehicle reached speeds of up to 90 mph, Williams said.

The deputy pulled back in speed for safety reasons, and eventually found that the SUV had crashed into a ravine.

That’s when they discovered the driver was a 13-year-old boy from Arroyo Grande, who had been listed as a runaway, Williams said.

A 51-year-old female was also in the vehicle at the time of the crash, and had been sitting in the passenger seat.

Williams did not identify the woman other than to say she is from San Luis Obispo, and it’s unknown what the relationship is between her and the driver.

The teen was arrested and booked into juvenile hall, and the woman was taken to Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital, where she was treated for minor injuries. 

The vehicle had been reported stolen and was registered to an owner in Morro Bay, and Williams said there was also stolen property inside the vehicle.

Williams said the boy has foster parents but was unsure if they had come to pick him up yet.

Williams said the boy was charged with fleeing with willful or wanton disregard for personal safety or property, a felony.

He was also charged with possession of a stolen vehicle and property, and the case has been forward to the District Attorney’s Office.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper 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 02.21.13 @ 07:19 PM

No doubt, probably a future prison inmate.  Somehow, someway society will wind up taking care of him.

» on 02.22.13 @ 08:36 AM


» on 02.22.13 @ 04:26 PM

Another weird one.

Great to know that, besides all the tipsy wine tourists leaving the Valley tasting rooms, and all the exhausted, tipsy gamblers leaving the Chumash casino, we now have 13 year olds, driving stolen SUVs at 90-100 mph down 101 to share the road with too.

» on 02.23.13 @ 04:37 AM

Who knows what his up bringing was like. His parents fault! I can not believe how the youth of today talks back to the parents! I was at a store the other day when a mother asks her daughter what would you like to eat tomorrow for dinner, she cursed her out & reminded her she was going out! Are you kidding me! No wonder this world is a mess. Parents are allowing their children talk back and who knows what example parents are giving their children…SAD times.

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