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Local News

Pedestrian Critically Injured When Struck by Vehicle in Montecito

Victim was walking on Butterfly Lane when sedan being pursued by Ventura Police hit her; manhunt on for driver, who fled on foot

A pedestrian was critically injured Tuesday afternoon when she was struck by a vehicle that reportedly was being chased by police in Montecito. Above, one of two people taken into custody after the incident.The vehicle’s driver remained at large. Click to view larger
A pedestrian was critically injured Tuesday afternoon when she was struck by a vehicle that reportedly was being chased by police in Montecito. Above, one of two people taken into custody after the incident.The vehicle’s driver remained at large. (Peter Hartmann / Noozhawk photo)

A pedestrian was critically injured Tuesday afternoon when she was struck by a vehicle that was being pursued by police in Montecito.

The incident occurred at about 4 p.m. on Butterfly Lane near Channel Drive, according to the California Highway Patrol.

A white Chevrolet Impala with Idaho plates was westbound on Channel Drive when it failed to make the turn onto Butterfly Lane, and struck a woman who was walking on the far side of the roadway, said CHP Officer Jonathan Gutierrez.

The Impala was being chased by Ventura Police Department officers for driving recklessly on Highway 101, Gutierrez said.

The victim — Jennifer Jan Jenson, 58, of Conover, North Carolina — was walking with two friends along the west roadway edge, Gutierrez said.

"After the collision, the Chevrolet was driven into a large wall on the opposite side of the roadway," he added.

Two other women who were walking with Jenson were able to jump out of the way, according to witnesses at the scene.

Two people who were in the vehicle were taken into custody, but the driver fled on foot, Gutierrez said.

An ambulance heads to the hospital with a North Carolina woman who was critically injured Tuesday afternoon when she was struck by a vehicle involved in a police pursuit while she was walking on Butterfly Lane in Montecito. Click to view larger
An ambulance heads to the hospital with a North Carolina woman who was critically injured Tuesday afternoon when she was struck by a vehicle involved in a police pursuit while she was walking on Butterfly Lane in Montecito. (Peter Hartmann / Noozhawk photo)

CHP officers, assisted by Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies, the Santa Barbara Police Department, and a county helicopter, set up a perimeter in the area to search for the driver.

A discarded handgun was recovered near the scene, according to the CHP.

Jenson was taken by AMR ambulance to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital with major injuries.

Details on her condition were not available.

The driver who fled was described as a black male in his 30s, approximately 5-foot-9, wearing a white shirt and shorts.

Gutierrez said that "a person of interest has been detained," but did not indicate whether that person was the suspect driver.

A shirt possibly belonging to the suspect was located on the campus of the Music Academy of the West, the CHP reported.

Several other possible sighting of the suspect also were reported.

The Ventura Police Department requested the Santa Barbara Area CHP take over investigative responsibility, Gutierrez said.

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.

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