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3 People Killed in High-Speed Crash on Mesa in Santa Barbara

A fourth victim was critically injured in single-vehicle accident at Cliff and La Marina Drives

Three people were killed and another was critically injured Tuesday night in a rollover accident on the Mesa in Santa Barbara.
Three people were killed and another was critically injured Tuesday night in a rollover accident on the Mesa in Santa Barbara. (Urban Hikers / Noozhawk photo)
A critically injured passenger is taken to a waiting ambulance Tuesday night after a high-speed crash on the Mesa that killed three people. Click to view larger
A critically injured passenger is taken to a waiting ambulance Tuesday night after a high-speed crash on the Mesa that killed three people. (Urban Hikers / Noozhawk photo)

Three people were killed and another was critically injured Tuesday night in a violent high-speed crash on the Mesa in Santa Barbara, according to the Santa Barbara Police Department.

The accident occurred at about 8:50 p.m. on Cliff Drive near La Marina Drive, according to Santa Barbara City Fire Department dispatch.

A 1997 Lexus sedan was eastbound on Cliff Drive at a high rate of speed when it slammed into a curb, a utility pole, a fire hydrant and a tree, and came to rest in the front yard of a residence, said police Lt. Ed Olsen.

"There are indications the vehicle went airborne into the tree and shrubs," Olsen said. "There is no indication of the cause, other than speed."

Three people were declared dead at the scene, Olsen said, adding that investigators were still trying to determine their identities late Tuesday night.

An additional victim, a male in the front passenger seat, survived the crash, and was trapped in the wreckage, Olsen said.

He was extricated from the mangled remains of the Lexus, and was transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital with major injuries, fire Capt. Gary Pitney said.

The man, whose name was not released, remained in critical condition at midnight, Olsen said.

The wreckage of a car that car that crashed on the Mesa in Santa Barbara Tuesday night, killing three people, can be seen behind a tree. Click to view larger
The wreckage of a car that car that crashed on the Mesa in Santa Barbara Tuesday night, killing three people, can be seen behind a tree. (Urban Hikers / Noozhawk photo)

The male driver and two backseat passengers, a man and a woman, died at the scene, he said.

There is some evidence the victims are local adults in their 20s, Olsen told Noozhawk, but that had not been confirmed.

More information about the victims was expected Wednesday morning.

Investigators were expected to remain on scene through the night, Olsen said, adding that the coroner would eventually be called in to remove the remains.

There were numerous witnesses to the crash and the immediate aftermath, Olsen said.

“All I heard was a loud noise and thump,” La Marina resident Jennifer Newell told Noozhawk.

“It didn’t sound like glass. There was a lot of neighbors out here. The car looked like it was crunched around the tree.”

Another neighbor told Noozhawk she heard the crash but no sound of skidding.

La Marina was reported shut down between Shoreline Drive and Cliff Drive.

A section of Cliff Drive was also shut down, starting at San Rafael Avenue on the western side.

The roadways were reopened at about 7 a.m. Wednesday.

Staff writer Brooke Holland reported from the scene. 

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.

John Goodman video

Three people were killed and another was critically injured Tuesday night in a rollover accident on the Mesa in Santa Barbara.
Three people were killed and another was critically injured Tuesday night in a rollover accident on the Mesa in Santa Barbara. (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

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