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Santa Maria Court Hearing Continued For Soap Actress Jensen Buchanan

Woman charged with driving under the influence after allegedly causing Highway 154 crash that badly injured another driver

Jensen Buchanan stands in a Santa Maria courtroom Friday morning after she was charged with driving under the influence in connection with a crash on Highway 154 that critically injured another driver.
Jensen Buchanan stands in a Santa Maria courtroom Friday morning after she was charged with driving under the influence in connection with a crash on Highway 154 that critically injured another driver.  (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

A soap opera actress accused of driving with a blood alcohol level more than four times the legal limit and causing a crash that critically injured a man returned to a Santa Maria courtroom on Friday.

Jensen Buchanan, 54, appeared before Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge James Iwasko, who set further arraignment for 8:30 a.m. Sept. 9 in Department 9.

On Friday morning, Buchanan did not enter a plea to the charges, which include felony driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury and felony driving with a blood-alcohol level of .08 percent or greater. 

She also is charged with causing great bodily injury to Bradley Asolas, 56, of Camarillo, and an allegation her blood-alcohol level exceeded .15 percent.

Court documents allege Buchanan was driving with a blood-alcohol level of .34 when the crash occurred about 6:20 a.m. May 18 on Highway 154.

Buchanan was driving a Mercedes S550 east on Highway 154 when her vehicle drifted across the double yellow line directly into the path of a westbound Ford C-Max on Highway 154 near the Live Oak Camp entrance, according to the California Highway Patrol. 

Firefighters had to extricate Asolas, the driver of the other vehicle, from his wrecked Ford after he received critical injuries in the head-on collision, the CHP said.

Deputy District Attorney Tiffany Dix is the prosecutor for the case.

The defendant was accompanied by two attorneys, Alan Eisner and Meryl Chambers who have offices in Van Nuys and Century City, for Friday’s hearing. 

Buchanan continues to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet, her attorney said.

After the crash, the woman spent 60 days in a residential facility and is continuing to receive treatment, Eisner told the judge.

Iwasko said the woman did not have to appear at the next hearing as long as she continues to wear the electronic monitoring bracelet and remains in treatment.

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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