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Collision Off Las Positas Road Claims Life of Isla Vista Husband, Father

Police say 29-year-old Audelio Bautista Lopez was headed to work at the Boathouse restaurant when his truck left the road and collided with a tree

An Isla Vista husband and father died Thursday morning after his pickup truck drifted off Las Positas Road in Santa Barbara and collided with a palm tree.

The driver was identified as 29-year-old Audelio Bautista Lopez, who leaves behind a wife and two small children. Santa Barbara police said Lopez was on his way to work at the Boathouse restaurant.

A passing motorist on southbound Las Positas called 9-1-1 about 6:15 a.m. after seeing smoke coming from the truck, a 2004 Chevrolet Silverado, which left the roadway for unknown reasons and crashed down an embankment on the westside of Las Positas, according to police Sgt. Mike McGrew. The truck sustained major damage.

Santa Barbara police and firefighters responded to the scene, in the 1200 block of Las Positas Road, about halfway between the Elings Park entrance and Cliff Drive.

Emergency personnel rushed to help Lopez, who had already died, McGrew said. Crews then used night-vision and thermal imaging equipment to search for additional victims. None were found.

Las Positas Road was closed to traffic from Veronica Springs Road to Cliff Drive as police investigators worked to reconstruct the collision. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

Anyone with information about the crash is asked to call traffic investigator officer Mark Hunt at 805.897.3719.

Noozhawk managing editor Michelle Nelson 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.

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