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Wednesday, January 23 , 2019, 12:05 am | Fair 41º


Driver Arrested after Car Crash Near San Marcos Pass

CHP cites prescription medication use in spinout that sent vehicle plunging down an embankment

A Santa Barbara woman was arrested Friday on suspicion of driving under the influence of prescription medication after her car plunged down a steep embankment on Highway 154 and struck a tree. The woman was rescued from the vehicle and taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for treatment of a broken arm and wrist, and other injuries.

According to the California Highway Patrol, Laura Ann Davenport, 50, of Santa Barbara, was driving a Toyota Corolla westbound on Highway 154 about 2:50 p.m. Friday when she lost control near Windy Gap on the Santa Barbara side of San Marcos Pass. The CHP said she negotiated a sharp right curve but the car drifted onto the dirt shoulder, she apparently over-corrected and spun around. The vehicle slid along the right shoulder, continued down the embankment and crashed into the tree.

Witnesses stopped to assist Davenport, who was trapped behind the steering wheel. Santa Barbara Fire Department personnel used the Jaws of Life to extract her from the car and an American Medical Response crew transported her to the hospital. The CHP said she was treated for compound fractures to her right arm and wrist, scalp lacerations, extensive damage to her right hand and a possibly dislocated right knee.

Prior to the crash, the CHP said, several witnesses made 9-1-1 calls to report a motorist driving erratically and having difficulty staying in the designated traffic lane. The CHP officer on the scene determined Davenport had been driving under the influence of prescription medication, and she was arrested and released to the care of Cottage Hospital. The one-vehicle collision remains under investigation.

— Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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