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Driver Arrested on Suspicion of Underage DUI, Hit and Run in Highway 154 Rollover

Two people suffered minor injuries when car veered off the road and hit an embankment near Santa Barbara

Two people were injured in a rollover crash on Highway 154 June 3 near Painted Cave Road and the driver has been arrested for underage driving under the influence, and hit and run, according to authorities. Click to view larger
Two people were injured in a rollover crash on Highway 154 June 3 near Painted Cave Road and the driver has been arrested for underage driving under the influence, and hit and run, according to authorities.  (Suzanne Farwell photo)

The driver of a Nissan Sentra that hit an embankment and rolled onto its roof on Highway 154 last Saturday was arrested on charges of underage driving under the influence and hit and run with injuries, according the California Highway Patrol.

Both charges are felonies. Because the driver and his two passengers were minors, their names were not released.

CHP Officer Jonathan Gutierrez told Noozhawk that the driver was “under the influence of a drug” when he drifted off the roadway and onto an embankment near Painted Cave Road, about 2-1/2 miles north of Santa Barbara. 

The car drifted back onto the road and “tapped” another car before hitting another embankment and rolling onto its roof, authorities said.

The driver of the other car was unhurt and pulled over to give a statement to law enforcement.

All three minors got out of the vehicle on their own, and each suffered cuts, scratches and abrasions, Gutierrez said. Two were considered to have minor injuries.

The incident prompted a response from CHP, Santa Barbara County firefighterssheriff’s deputiesLos Padres National Forest personnel and an American Medical Response ambulance.

On the day of the rollover, County Fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni said that one of the three people in the vehicle had fled on foot down the highway, appearing to be cognitively “altered in some fashion.”

After a brief search, sheriff's deputies found him 200 feet over the edge of a cliff. Zaniboni described him as being combative when fire and sheriff’s personnel hoisted him back to the roadside.

Noozhawk staff writer Sam Goldman 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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