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Driver Faces Manslaughter, DUI Charges After Pedestrian Killed in Santa Maria

Ismael Lares

A Santa Maria driver was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and other charges Monday after allegedly striking and killing a man in a parking lot in the 200 block of East Main Street.

Santa Maria police received a report of a man injured in the parking lot near the Louie B’s bar at about 1:12 a.m., and determined the victim had been struck and killed by a vehicle.

Shortly before that, a Santa Maria officer patrolling in the area saw a dark gray 2004 Chevy Silverado leaving the parking lot at a high rate of speed.

The officer stopped the vehicle several blocks away and contacted the driver and passenger.

“The officers were able to quickly determine that the vehicle that they had stopped minutes earlier was involved in the accident,” Lt. Marc Schneider said.

Police said the driver, Ismael Lares, 34, of Santa Maria, reportedly had been driving under the influence and had fled the scene after being involved in the accident. 

The victim's name was not being released pending family notification, Schneider said.

Lares was booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of manslaughter, felony hit and run and driving under the influence, Schneider said.

A passenger in the vehicle, Adrian Avila, 31, of Santa Maria, also was booked into County Jail on an unrelated felony warrant, Schneider said.

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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