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2 Alleged DUI Drivers Arrested After Separate Crashes in Santa Maria Injure 2

Two people have been arrested in Santa Maria after separate crashes blamed on men suspected of driving under the influence, police said Saturday.

At 10:44 p.m. Friday, police responded to a collision at the intersection of North Miller Street and East Alvin Avenue.

Witnesses told officers that a pickup truck was traveling recklessly, speeding north on Miller and passing several vehicles before running the stop sign at the Alvin intersection.

The pickup slammed into the driver’s side of another pickup, this one driven by James Crichton, 64, of Casmalia, who was slowly entering the intersection westbound on Alvin. 

“The force of the impact was so significant that it pushed Crichton’s vehicle out of the intersection and into a parked car on Miller Street,” Sgt. Mark Streker said.

He said Santa Maria firefighters had to cut away portions of Crichton’s truck to free him from the wreckage.

Crichton was transported to Marian Regional Medical Center, where he was admitted and treated for moderate internal injuries.

“His seatbelt undoubtedly saved him from more serious injuries,” Streker said.

The first pickup driver, identified as 26-year-old Carlos Cisneros Jr., was not injured. He was arrested on suspicion of felony driving under the influence and booked into Santa Barbara County Jail.

The crash occurred as the Santa Maria police Traffic Unit was conducting a DUI checkpoint nearby, and Streker said traffic officers responded to assist with the investigation.

On Saturday, officers were dispatched at 12:19 p.m. to a report of a collision near West Fesler Street and North Benwiley Avenue, Sgt. Daniel Rios said. 

Upon arrival, officers learned that Rosario Lopez Armenta, 70, had crashed his vehicle into a parked car, which subsequently struck a 10-year-old girl who was on the sidewalk.

The girl, whose name was not released, sustained serious but nonlife-threatening injuries, Rios said.

He said Armenta was taken into custody on suspicion of driving under the influence and booked into the County Jail. 

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully 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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