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Friday, January 18 , 2019, 6:54 pm | Fair 58º


Man Dies After Car Crashes Off Highway 154

Victim succumbs after apparently suffering a medical emergency

Rescue crews remove the driver from a car that crashed Monday on Highway 154 near Paradise Road, The man, who was declared dead at the scene, apparently suffered a medical emertency.
Rescue crews remove the driver from a car that crashed Monday on Highway 154 near Paradise Road, The man, who was declared dead at the scene, apparently suffered a medical emertency. (Santa Barbara County Fire Department photo)

A driver died Monday after apparently experiencing a medical emergency and veering off Highway 154 in the upper Santa Ynez Valley, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

Firefighters and the California Highway Patrol responded just after 10:15 a.m. to a report of a vehicle over the side on Highway 154, just north of Paradise Road, Fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni said.

The Ford Mustang had been traveling northbound when it struck a guardrail and went 30 feet over the side of the road, he said.

A man in his 50s was found unresponsive and not breathing, and later was declared dead at the scene, Zaniboni said.

According to the CHP, the 57-year-old man was from Agoura Hills. Authorities weren't releasing his name until next of kin had been notified.

“It appears that the victim was that of a medical emergency rather than a traumatic injury,” he said. 

Zaniboni said the man, who was initially going to be transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, remained on scene while the Santa Barbara County coroner was en route.

He said U.S. Forest Service personnel assisted in the rescue efforts, clearing the brush down to the vehicle so that the victim could be brought up to the roadway.

Zaniboni said the Coroner's Office would release the cause of death after completing an autopsy.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff 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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