Residents of eastern Montecito were navigating around two closures on East Valley Road on Saturday after separate traffic collisions took out high-voltage power poles.
East Valley Road, officially Highway 192, was closed between Glen Oaks Drive and Park Lane east of Knowlwood Tennis Club and between Sheffield Drive and Stonehouse Lane. Southern California Edison crews are working at both locations to replace equipment damaged in the wrecks, and to restore electrical and telephone service for nearby homes.
The Glen Oaks-Park stretch of roadway was open to traffic Sunday but the Sheffield-Stonehouse portion could be closed for as long as three days, officials say.
According to the Montecito Fire Protection District, a Porsche Cayenne traveling westbound at a high rate of speed lost control after crossing the Romero Creek bridge in the 2200 block of East Valley Road just before 1:30 a.m.
Firefighters arrived at the site to find the car on its side, with significant front-end damage and its airbags deployed. What they didn’t find, however, was a driver or any occupants, said Dave Andreas, a department spokesman.
The California Highway Patrol was investigating the crash Saturday, and searching for the driver, who apparently fled the scene.
Road damage stretched back 300 feet from where the Porsche came to a stop just west of Stonehouse Lane, and debris was scattered along both sides of the street. The vehicle struck at least five large oak trees and splintered an Edison power pole.
The crash site is in the vicinity of a deadly 2012 car-surfing incident that killed one woman and seriously injured another.
About a mile to the west, meanwhile, East Valley Road between Glen Oaks and Park was reopened Sunday, two days after it was closed after a minivan slammed into a power pole Friday afternoon. The driver — Sharon Clark, 70, of Santa Barbara — was not injured in the wreck but CHP Officer Kevin Taulbee said she was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.
Three dogs in the minivan were taken by Santa Barbara County Animal Services.
During the closures, East Valley Road residents east of Sheffield Drive will only be able to access their properties by way of Ortega Ridge Road. Residents east of Park Lane will also have to use Sheffield Drive to get to and from their homes.
Click here for updated Caltrans information about the road closure, or call the Caltrans hotline at 800.427.7623.