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Local News

Suspected Hit-and-Run Driver Injured in Highway 154 Rollover Crash

Major injuries reported in series of collisions that began earlier in the evening on Santa Barbara’s Lower Eastside

A driver who suffered major injuries in a Highway 154 crash on Saturday evening is hauled up to a waiting ambulance. Authorities suspect the man was involved in a series of hit-and-run collisions earlier on Santa Barbara’s Eastside.
A driver who suffered major injuries in a Highway 154 crash on Saturday evening is hauled up to a waiting ambulance. Authorities suspect the man was involved in a series of hit-and-run collisions earlier on Santa Barbara’s Eastside. (Urban Hikers photo)

A driver was hospitalized with major injuries Saturday night after a Highway 154 crash that authorities say was the culmination of a series of collisions that began earlier in the evening on Santa Barbara’s Lower Eastside.

Emergency crews responded shortly after 6:30 p.m. to the single-vehicle, rollover wreck near Windy Gap, just below San Marcos Pass about four miles from Highway 101, Santa Barbara County Fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni said.

He said the driver, a man who appeared to be in his mid-40s, suffered major injuries.

A major extrication effort was required to free the victim from the wreckage of the white SUV he was driving, Zaniboni said.

He was brought to a waiting American Medical Response ambulance, and transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

Details on his condition were not immediately available.

The vehicle ended up about 15 feet off the roadway, Zaniboni said.

The SUV that crashed was the same one that was involved in several hit-and-run collisions earlier in the evening in the area of Yanonali and Garden streets on Santa Barbara’s Eastside, according to Santa Barbara police Sgt. Eric Beecher.

He said a white SUV struck a parked car shortly after 6 p.m., then attempted to flee, rear-ending one vehicle and backing into another.

The vehicle then turned onto Garden Street, Beecher said, striking another vehicle and crashing through the median before disappearing.

Officers, who had obtained a license plate number, searched the area, but were unable to locate the SUV.

The California Highway Patrol alerted Santa Barbara police that the same vehicle had been involved in the Highway 154 crash.

“The assumption is this is some kind of DUI,” said Beecher, who added that police and the CHP were still investigating.

The suspect driver’s name was not disclosed, and it was not clear whether he had been arrested.

Check back with Noozhawk for updates to this story.

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.

Santa Barbara police officers investigate a series of collisions on the Lower Eastside that culminated later in the evening in a major-injury crash on Highway 154. (Urban Hikers photo)
Santa Barbara police officers investigate a series of collisions on the Lower Eastside that culminated later in the evening in a major-injury crash on Highway 154. (Urban Hikers photo)

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