Friday, October 19 , 2018, 8:11 pm | Fair 78º


Driver in Chase, Crash Facing 10 Years in Prison

Evan Githens, 28, of Santa Barbara was at the wheel of a stolen truck when it crashed Oct. 7, injuring three people

Firefighters and paramedics tend to a boy who was injured in the crash. (Tom Bolton / Noozhawk file photo)

A 28-year-old Santa Barbara man will spend 10 years in state prison after pleading to charges stemming from a chase and crash in downtown Santa Barbara that injured three people last month, the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office announced Friday.

Evan Quinn Githens was at the wheel of a stolen truck that was being pursued by sheriff's deputies Oct. 7 when it slammed into an SUV and a Jeep, at Arrellaga and De la Vina streets, officials said.

A woman and two children — boys 6 and 4 — were in the truck with Githens, and the older child was taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for treatment of undisclosed injuries.

The drivers of the other two vehicles involved also were injured, and were taken to the hospital.

Evan Quinn Githens faces 10 years in prison.

Githens pleaded no contest Thursday to four counts, including felony child endangerment, vehicle theft, evading officers with willful disregard for public safety, and hit-and-run causing injury, District Attorney Joyce Dudley said.

Githens also admitted to having been previously convicted of elder abuse and witness intimidation, along with having served a prior prison sentence.

He will return to court Dec. 5 for sentencing.

The incident began when sheriff's deputies and Santa Barbara police officers followed the vehicle on Highway 101 as it exited at Carrillo Street.

The vehicle turned south on Castillo Street, then re-entered the freeway northbound at Haley Street, before exiting at Arrellaga and heading toward the mountains.

Throughout the pursuit, the truck was traveling at a high rate of speed and blasting through stop signs and traffic signals.

After the crash, which propelled the Jeep across the sidewalk and into a front yard, a shirtless Githens fled on foot down De la Vina, "hopping fences and running through back yards," officials said.

A county helicopter was called in to help track the fleeing driver, and Githens was captured a short time later near Victoria Street.

Firefighters aid a driver who was injured Monday afternoon when a police chase ended in a multi-vehicle crash in downtown Santa Barbara. (Urban Hikers photo)

“This case demonstrates the significant consequences associated with the callous behavior exhibited by the defendant and his utter indifference for public safety and law enforcement,” said Deputy District Attorney Kevin Weichbrod, who prosecuted the case.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton 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.

Evan Githens, who was arrested Oct. 7 after a police chase and crash in Santa Barbara, is interviewed by a sheriff's deputy. (Tom Bolton / Noozhawk file photo)

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