Cliff Drive wreck
The Santa Barbara crash scene that was the end result of an alleged vehicle theft and DUI decision. (Anthony Wagner / Santa Barbara Police Department photo)

A portion of Cliff Drive on the Mesa was shut down early Thursday while Santa Barbara police investigated a major-injury collision.

The crash involving three vehicles occurred shortly after 1 a.m. on the 1500 block of Cliff Drive, which was closed between Santa Cruz Boulevard and Salida del Sol, according to police spokesman Anthony Wagner.

The closure was expected to last until late afternoon.

A Land Rover was eastbound on Cliff at a high rate of speed when it clipped a parked Volvo stationwagon, then slammed into a parked Scion sedan, Wagner said.

He added that the Scion was propeled some 160 feet down the roadway by the impact.

The female driver and her female passenger both suffered critical injuries, and had to be extricated from the wreckage, Wagner said.

They were transporterd by AMR ambulance to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

Their names and their conditions were not released.

Both parked vehicles were unoccupied at the time of the crash, Wagner said.

Santa Barbara city firefighters also responded to the collision.

“Impairment and speed appear to be major contributing factors to the collision,” Wagner said. “When the investigation is completed, findings will be submitted to the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s Office for review.”

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Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at tbolton@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.