Gerald Torres, 43, of Santa Barbara was arrested for DUI Saturday afternoon after he went off the road and crashed his 1998 Yamaha motorcycle into a traffic sign and fence while traveling westbound on Casitas Pass Road. Torres and his 8-year-old son were ejected from the motorcycle. Torres, who was wearing an open-face helmet, suffered major head injuries and lacerations, according to a press release from California Highway Patrol. The 8-year-old boy, who was wearing a full-face helmet, sustained minor abrasions to his right leg and was released to a family member at the scene. Torres, who is a pastor at Reality, a Christian ministry based in Carpinteria, was admitted to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital on Saturday.
Pastor Tyler Morgan of Reality submitted a statement about the incident. It appears below:
Saturday afternoon May 3, Pastor Gerald Torres and his son were in a motorcycle accident. Pastor Torres’s son was not injured other than a scraped shin. Pastor Torres has severe lacerations to his face, a broken nose, hand, and ribs. He underwent surgery Sunday morning.
We are thankful for the sparing of Pastor Torres’s life, that he will recover from his injuries, and that his son did not suffer any significant harm.
Sadly, Pastor Torres had consumed alcohol and is currently being investigated by law enforcement for driving under the influence.
This is out of character for Pastor Torres, and it is not something that would be expected of him. It was a terrible mistake, and it is sin on his part. Pastor Torres is deeply broken and repentant because of his actions.
We acknowledge that our church wrestles with sin and failure. Gladly, we also experience forgiveness and restoration. This is the joy of the gospel of Jesus Christ, that we have all sinned greatly and that we have been forgiven because Jesus paid the price for our sins on the cross and we are restored to relationship with God.
So many have been deeply ministered to by Pastor Torres. His failure does not undo the positive influence he has had in many lives, in our church, and in our community.
Pastor Torres has always pointed us to the grace of God, where we find forgiveness and help in our time of need. Now it is our opportunity to surround him as a community, extend grace, and point him and his family to the grace of God. Gerald and his family need to know that we love them deeply and are determined to walk through this with them.
While there is forgiveness and restoration, there are consequences to Pastor Torres’s action. The elders have put Pastor Torres on leave for an undetermined period of time, and he agrees wholeheartedly with this decision.
We love Pastor Torres and his family. We are praying for them and are committed to their healing and well-being.