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Identity Released of Hit-and-Run Victim

Authorities Still Looking for Suspect Vehicle


Wednesday, January 16, 2013
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Simon Chavez
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Simon Chavez

The person killed in a vehicle vs. pedestrian hit-and-run collision early Tuesday morning has been identified as 22-year-old Santa Barbara resident Simon Chavez.

According to the CHP, Chavez was staggering along the southbound lanes of Highway 101 between the Ortega Street overcrossing and the Castillo Street offramp at around 1 a.m. when he was struck. The driver fled the scene, but based on evidence collected nearby authorities determined the suspect vehicle is a white Hyundai that likely has damage to its front and driver’s side.

CHP spokesperson James Richards said Wednesday morning that his office — phone number (805) 967-1234 — recently received a tip about the incident and that the investigation is ongoing.

It’s unclear at this point if drugs or alcohol played a factor in Chavez’s death. A toxicology report is pending, authorities said.

A graduate of Santa Barbara High School, Chavez was a volunteer baseball coach at his alma mater. According to his Facebook page, he worked at Cafe del Sol in Montecito.

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Drug-related or maybe someone beat him nearly senseless? Why was he "staggering" around on the Hwy? This is another horrible and sad tragedy. My condolences to the family and all his loved ones.

I hope we will know the truth of this soon. I do feel for the driver who hit him. What a sad story, all round.

chilldrinfthenight (anonymous profile)
January 16, 2013 at 12:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

It doesn't make sense that he was wandering on the freeway. I don't feel at all sorry for the person who hit him and fled.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 16, 2013 at 1:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

How incredibly sad.

I would also feel sorry for the driver if they hadn't left the scene.

I can imagine being disoriented and maybe in shock, but at some point you have to stop and call 911. I don't think there's any way they didn't know they hit a person.

Native1 (anonymous profile)
January 16, 2013 at 6:42 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I think the person who hit him was intoxicated or under some other legal apprehension. It's just too callous disregard for life to have fled the scene or not have said anything by now.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 16, 2013 at 6:51 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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