Wednesday, May 23 , 2018, 2:54 am | Fair 56º


Local News

Santa Barbara Area CHP Officer Dies in Traffic Collision

Jarrod Martinez, thrown from his motorcycle while braking, was hit by an oncoming vehicle and dragged about 45 feet

An on-duty California Highway Patrol officer died Thursday after trying to avoid a collision with an oncoming vehicle on Foxen Canyon Road at Steele Street in Los Olivos.

Jarrod John Martinez
Jarrod John Martinez

About 12:15 p.m. Thursday, Officer Jarrod John Martinez, 30, of Buellton, was on his motorcycle as he returned home from traffic court. He was headed westbound on Steele Street, approaching the intersection, according to CHP spokesman James Richards.

Meanwhile, Solvang resident Curtis Seymour Smith, 68, driving a 2009 Porsche 911 Carrera, was approaching the same intersection from Foxen Canyon Road. According to the CHP, Smith cut across the width of Foxen Canyon Road, positioning his vehicle on the wrong side of the road as he turned onto Steele Street.

Martinez braked to avoid the vehicle, but his motorcycle slid out from under him and he struck the right front corner of Smith’s Porshe. The officer was dragged by the undercarriage of the vehicle for about 45 feet before Smith could stop the vehicle, according to CHP.

Witnesses called 9-1-1. An off-duty deputy medical examiner traveling in the area arrived at the scene and attempted to render aid to Martinez, who died minutes later.

Martinez is survived by his wife, Patricia, and 4-year-old daughter Julia. A trust fund is being established for the family at Wells Fargo Bank.

The Buellton CHP and the Coastal Division Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team are investigating. No arrest has been made, and CHP said neither alcohol nor drugs appear to be a factor in the crash.

Noozhawk managing editor Michelle Nelson can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Supporter

Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >