Sunday, February 18 , 2018, 1:42 pm | Fair 60º


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Guadalupe Police Officer, Prisoner Injured in Alleged DUI Crash On Highway 1

Patrol vehicle was taking a suspect to jail when it was struck head-on by pickup truck

A Guadalupe police officer, a prisoner being transported to Santa Barbara County Jail and an alleged drunken driver received minor injuries in a head-on collision on Highway 1 early Sunday. Click to view larger
A Guadalupe police officer, a prisoner being transported to Santa Barbara County Jail and an alleged drunken driver received minor injuries in a head-on collision on Highway 1 early Sunday. (Guadalupe Police Department photo)

A Guadalupe police officer transporting a prisoner to Santa Barbara County Jail was injured early Sunday in a head-on collision with an alleged drunken driver.

At approximately 2:20 a.m., Officer Efrain Oseguera reported that he and his prisoner, Abacuc Lopez-Sanchez, had been in a crash on two-lane Highway 1, south of Brown Road, according to Santa Barbara Fire Capt. David Zaniboni.

According to the California Highway Patrol, Oseguera was southbound at 45-50 mph when he spotted an oncoming Toyota Tundra pickup traveling northbound in the southbound lane.

Oseguera braked hard and swerved into the northbound lane in attempting to avoid a collision with the pickup, which was traveling an estimated 70 mph, the CHP said.

However, the Tundra, driven by Miranda A. Miranda, 18, of Nipomo, swerved back into the northbound lane, and the two vehicles collided head-on, the CHP said.

“Unfortunately, the efforts were too late, and the vehicles struck head on,” the Guadalupe Police Department said in a Facebook post.

Oseguera, 31, was transported to Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria for treatment of injuries to his face, hands, arms, knees and abdomen, and was later treated and released.

Miranda A. Miranda Click to view larger
Miranda A. Miranda

“Fortunately, his life was likely spared by the use of a seatbelt and airbag deployment,” police officials said.

Lopez-Sanchez, 30, of Guadalupe was extricated and also transported to Marian Regional Medical Center for injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening, police said.

Miranda was arrested on suspicion of felony drunken driving with a presumptive blood-alcohol level more than twice the legal limit for an adult, police said.

She also received minor injuries, the CHP said.

Miranda was booked into County Jail.

“Please let this incident serve as a testimony to the value of wearing seat belts and the extreme dangers of driving while impaired,” the Guadalupe police force’s Facebook post said.

Oseguera is expected to recover fully and return to work, police said.

Highway 1 was closed for a short time in the area of the crash, Zaniboni said.

The incident is eerily similar to one that killed a Guadalupe police officer in 1969, when Officer Samuel Sanchez’s patrol vehicle was struck by drunken driver on Highway 166.

Under legislation sponsored by state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, the stretch of Highway 166/West Main Street between Bonita School Road and Simas Street would be designated as the Officer Samuel Sanchez Memorial Highway.

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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