Man Trapped Overnight in Wrecked Car

Refused to Ask Authorities for Help; CHP Says Prescription Drug Impairment May Have Caused Accident

Tuesday, January 22, 2013
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A Solvang man spent Monday night trapped in his wrecked Toyota Prius after he drove off the side of Highway 154 and refused to ask authorities for help.

According to CHP spokesperson James Richards, Michael Crolius was driving westbound on the 154 at a high speed at around 4 p.m. when he failed to negotiate a turn near Royal Egyptian Farms. His car left the roadway, became airborne, and hit a descending embankment, Richards said. “Other than disturbed dirt along the shoulder, there was no evidence of a collision visible from the roadway,” he explained. (Earlier in the day, Richards noted, motorists had reported seeing Crolius driving recklessly on Highway 101 in the Summerland area.)

Crolius contacted family members and asked for help, but he requested law enforcement not be called. Concerned family members called the CHP anyway at around 5 p.m. to report the accident, but had a hard time pinpointing for authorities where Crolius said he was. CHP officers searched the 154 from Buellton to State Street throughout the night, but were unable to locate Crolius or his car. “At one point last night, family members were along the side of the road at the scene, but were unaware due to the darkness,” Richards said Tuesday. “Air support was also unable to locate a collision scene.”

At around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, a CHP officer spotted the Prius down an embankment. It was overturned and laying on the driver’s side. Crolius was standing inside but hadn’t been able to get out because of a shoulder injury he sustained in the crash. He was eventually extracted and transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for treatment.

“Prescription drug impairment is being investigated as the primary cause of this collision,” Richards said. “If convicted, this would be Mr. Crolius’s fourth DUI in three years.”


Independent Discussion Guidelines

His first mistake was driving a Prius.....

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
January 22, 2013 at 7:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

which led to DUIs?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 1:28 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Actually, AZ2SB, it apparently was his fourth mistake. Your post could be shortened to leave off the words, "...a Prius..."

SezMe (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 2:08 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The safety score of the 2013 Prius

The 2012 Prius scores "good" but there is the disturbing "acceptable" grade for head and neck injuries.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 2:43 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Three DUI's in three I reading this correctly? How about taking away his licence...for starters?

billclausen (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 4:23 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Yes, and 3 convictions means there was thousands of times he didn't get caught. Scary thought.

Riceman (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 11:42 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Congratulations to Mr. Crolius: He has just won the right to have his driver's license permanently revoked before he KILLS someone other than himself, which he apparently failed to do in this latest escapade, thereby, once again, having to cost court system-supporting taxpayers in dealing with his inability to self-govern his actions, and most likely re-spinning the Russian-roulette cylinder and clicking until he succeeds.

Please throw the book at this idiot.

Draxor (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 1:07 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Would love to read what DarrylGenis would have to say about this bonehead...

LegendaryYeti (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 1:11 p.m. (Suggest removal)

According to last nights news report, his last DUI arrest was about a week ago...

m2457 (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 1:19 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@SB2SB: To add to your comment, I wonder how he's sleeping with to be able to get through the system like this. Either that or he has compromising photos of someone high up the food chain.

It would be interesting to what--if any connections this man has to the legal system.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 3:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

How does someone have 3 dui s and still have a license?

This guy is a menace - throw him in prison for a year and see if he does it again. 4th time! Talk about a problem...

iamsomeguyinsb (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 3:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

most likely was on a suspended license this time, and the time or two before.

SB2SB (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 4:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

WHY is this a**hat walking (and DRIVING) around breathing air in complete freedom?? SERIOUSLY?? The rest of us are out here going about our lives, and this bozo is taking OUR lives in HIS hands? WOW!


Holly (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 5:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

It's appalling that this guy is on the road, and on the Pass to boot! The road you most need your skills online and he's high or drunk or impaired somehow.

Having been nearly killed in the 70's (when laws were lax) by a drunk who was racing and on a multiple-times suspended license, it's unacceptable that we allow this level of BS to go on nearly 40 years later. There should be no loopholes in these laws, no exceptions.

cycleboy (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 8:03 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Here is a link to California DUI penalties and punishments in the Bay area:
and in Santa Barbara:

Now would someone at the Indy please follow up and explain to us how this man still happened to be driving instead of taking the bus?

blackpoodles (anonymous profile)
January 23, 2013 at 8:48 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I can explain why he isn't in prison-there is simply no room for low level offenders like this, even though he is a DUI away from committing a murder.

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
January 24, 2013 at 7:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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