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Victim of Santa Barbara Hit-Run Out of Coma; Alleged DUI Driver Pleads Not Guilty

Drew Daly Click to view larger
Drew Daly (Facebook photo)

Two weeks after 23-year-old Drew Daly was found lying face down on Cabrillo Boulevard with life-threatening injuries after a hit-and-run collision, he is making progress toward recovery, according to his family. 

“He is awake, focusing his eyes, he can recognize people and got his breathing tube out,” said Leah Daly, his older sister. “He is working with physical therapy, speech therapy and making progress every day.

"He is still weak, but doing better than anyone would have expected.”

Santa Barbara police say Daly, a Santa Barbara City College student, was hit by a vehicle at about 2:30 a.m. on Dec. 2 on the 300 block of West Cabrillo Boulevard, and the car fled the scene.

Daly was found about two hours later, and transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital with critical injuries.

Leah Daly spent multiple hours and nights in the hospital at her brother’s side.

When police first notified the 24-year-old and her father, they packed their car and drove to Santa Barbara, and Drew Daly’s mother immediately flew in from a business trip in Orlando, Florida.

“We are pulling together for him and going to support him,” Leah Daly said. “We were doing this from day one. The care he needs is evolving and changing every day.”

Leah Daly thanked investigators and the community for their support. 

“It was a community-wide job and blew my mind to see people cared and reach out,” she said. “It shows what a community can do, so quickly. My brother loves Santa Barbara.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up to pay for Drew Daly’s medical expenses. 

Isaac Vincent Vega Click to view larger
Isaac Vincent Vega (Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department photo)

Isaac Vincent Vega, 21, of Montecito was arrested last week in the case and police also impounded a vehicle at his residence. 

The District Attorney’s Office charged Vega with felony DUI causing great bodily injury, specifically a coma, while out on bail on an open felony case, and felony hit-and-run causing great bodily injury or death. 

Vega pleaded not guilty to the charges Wednesday in Santa Barbara County Superior Court

Vega was represented by county Deputy Public Defender Rachel Solomon, and is due back in court on Jan. 11, Senior Deputy District Attorney Lee Carter said. 

At the time of the alleged hit-and-run, Vega was out of custody on bail for a previous robbery arrest, authorities said. 

The public’s assistance led to Vega’s arrest, according to police, who released surveillance photos of a possibly involved vehicle after the collision.

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland 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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