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Montecito Man Pleads Guilty to Hit-Run Collision That Put SBCC Student in a Coma

Isaac Vincent Vega was sentenced to six years in prison for December 2016 incident

Santa Barbara City College student Drew Daly was critically injured after a hit-and-run collision on Cabrillo Boulevard Dec. 2. Click to view larger
Santa Barbara City College student Drew Daly was critically injured after a hit-and-run collision on Cabrillo Boulevard Dec. 2.  (KEYT.com file photo)

A 21-year-old Montecito man is serving a 6-year prison term after pleading guilty to a felony hit-and-run collision that left a Santa Barbara City College student severely injured and in a coma for several days.

Isaac Vincent Vega was arrested five days after a Dec. 2, 2016, collision in which Drew Christopher Daly, then 23, was hit by a vehicle while crossing the 300 block Cabrillo Boulevard in Santa Barbara.

Daly was found lying unconscious in the gutter at about 4:30 a.m., and authorities estimated he had been on the street, gravely injured, for about two hours before a passerby discovered him.

Police connected Vega to the collision through surveillance footage of a light-colored SUV seen in the area at the time of the collision. Authorities and Daly's family asked the public for information about the hit-and-run driver.

Video of the vehicle pulling into the harbor entrance — in which the driver got out and checked the passenger side of the vehicle, then got back in and kept driving westbound on Cabrillo Boulevard — allowed investigators to narrow down the make and model of the car, according to authorities.

Vega was charged with felony driving under the influence causing injury, leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in death or serious, permanent injury, and special allegations of causing great bodily injury, specifically a coma due to brain injury, committing the alleged crime while out on bail, and a misdemeanor of being an unlicensed driver.

His vehicle, a light-colored Honda CRV, was impounded.

Isaac Vincent Vega Click to view larger
Isaac Vincent Vega

Vega took a plea deal in April and pleaded guilty to felony hit and run that resulted in injury, as well as the special allegation of causing great bodily injury.

He was sentenced to six years in prison and had 163 days of credit for time spent in County Jail since his December arrest, including good time/work time.

“On 12/2/16 I struck the victim while driving my vehicle and did not stop to render assistance. As a result of my failure, the victim suffered permanent, significant brain injury,” the plea deal states.

The maximum sentence for the hit-and-run charge was three years, and the special allegation was also a three-year sentence.

In probable-cause documents for Vega’s arrest, Santa Barbara Detective Brian Larson wrote that Daly had been lying on the street for about two hours before he was found, which is based on his 86-degree body temperature doctors measured and the 40-degree temperature the night of the collision.

Drew Daly
Drew Daly (Facebook photo)

Daly “had fractures to his skull and spine and a cerebral contusion to his brain, as well as a fractured clavicle, wrist, and other injuries,” according to court documents.

Vega also entered a guilty plea to grand theft, related to a Sept. 16 robbery charge for taking a bottle of alcohol at a Vons store “from the immediate presence” of an employee who was trying to stop him, according to court documents.

His three-year sentence for that charge will run concurrent to the six-year prison term, adding no extra time.

Daly’s family has told Noozhawk that he woke up from his coma after a few days and was transferred to a Los Angeles medical facility for treatment.

A GoFundMe account set up to help with his medical expenses had raised $19,400 as of Friday.

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli 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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