The investigating Santa Barbara police officer in a vehicular manslaughter case testified in court Friday during the trial of two men accused of participating in a motorcycle speed contest in Mission Canyon.
Raul Ibarra, 24, died March 2 after colliding with a sport utility vehicle on Foothill Road while riding a motorcycle with two friends, Francisco Rodriguez, 23, and Jonathon Alvarez-Leon, 24.
Prosecutor Sanford Horowitz questioned Officer Jaycee Hunter about the investigation, including the accident reconstruction.
Hunter calculated the speed each motorcyclist was traveling with a security camera video, which had footage from two to three seconds before the collision, he said.
Through witness statements and interviews, authorities believe Rodriguez was traveling in front, followed by Ibarra and then Alvarez.
After Ibarra hit the vehicle, Alvarez went into a 128-foot slide and off the same embankment Ibarra went down, near the Santa Barbara Tennis Club in the 2300 block of Foothill Road, according to testimony.
Hunter testified that Alvarez’s minimum speed going into the skid was 58 mph.
He also calculated the speeds of each motorcycle seen in the security video footage, which appeared briefly about one second apart from one another.
At that point, 313 feet away from the area of impact for the collision, Hunter testified that the first motorcycle was traveling 74 mph, the second was traveling 69 mph, and the third was going 67 mph.
The bikes were going too fast to visually recognize any of the vehicles, Hunter said, and defense attorneys asked him to provide a foundation for saying these bikes were those of Rodriguez, Ibarra and Alvarez.
The time stamp on the video — just after 1 p.m. Saturday, March 2 — and presence of witness Christian Schoenhoff in the footage show that it’s those three motorcyclists, Hunter said.
Schoenhoff is expected to testify about seeing three motorcycles go by quickly and then the accident aftermath.
Defense attorneys Ron Bamieh, representing Rodriguez, and deputy public defender Christine Voss plan to cross examine Hunter for about a day each next week.
Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Jean Dandona will also hear arguments on a motion to dismiss Monday morning when the trial testimony is scheduled to continue.