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Santa Maria Man Dies in Goleta Car Crash, 3 Passengers Injured

Officers catch up with pair of injured passengers who were seen fleeing the scene at Cottage Health Systems' corporate offices

A Santa Maria man died when the car he was driving crashed into an office building while traveling eastbound on Hollister Avenue at Los Carneros Road in Goleta late Friday, authorities said Saturday. Three passengers were injured in the collision, including two who were seen running away when officers arrived on the scene almost immediately.

According to Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Drew Sugars, sheriff’s deputies and Goleta police officers responded to the single-vehicle crash just before 11 p.m. Friday at Cottage Health Systems’ corporate headquarters, 6550 Hollister Ave.

The officers found the driver — Ignacio Bautista, 20, of Santa Maria — dead in the car and his brother — Miguel Bautista, 18, of Santa Maria — trapped in the back seat.

Miguel Bautista was transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, where he was listed in critical condition Saturday afternoon.

When officers arrived at the scene, Sugars said, they observed two men fleeing from the vehicle. The pair was quickly located in a nearby business park and both were transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for treatment of their injuries. Evan Avila, 20, of Santa Maria, was treated and released while Manuel Cortez, 19, also of Santa Maria, was hospitalized in stable condition.

Sugars said the cause of the crash is under investigation by the sheriff’s Major Accident Response Team and alcohol may have been a factor. Hollister Avenue between Los Carneros and Cremona Drive was closed to all traffic for about five hours while investigators gathered evidence.

Anyone with information about the crash or the involved parties is asked to contact the Goleta Traffic Unit at 805.961.7516 or the Sheriff’s Anonymous Tip Line at 805.681.4171.

Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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