California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers are still searching for two suspects — a man and a woman — who led authorities on a lengthy car chase from the Buellton area to Ventura County on Thursday afternoon.

At approximately 4:27 p.m. Thursday, CHP officers tried and failed to pull over the driver of a 1999 white Toyota 4-Runner, which was traveling at about 100 mph on the southbound Highway 101 north of Highway 1 near Buellton. “The suspects fled using all lanes of traffic as well as the center divider and right shoulder,” said CHP spokesperson Officer Jonathan Gutierrez in a prepared statement.

Upon reaching the City of Santa Barbara, the 4-Runner exited the highway at La Cumbre Road and drove the wrong way onto State Street, hitting another car. At this point, city police officers had arrived on scene to lead the pursuit, and CHP officers stopped chasing the suspects.

Driving back onto Highway 101 southbound, the 4-Runner exited at Coast Village Drive near Montecito where one of the car’s wheels caught on fire. A Sheriff’s Office helicopter followed the car to Ventura County before the suspects took the State Beaches highway exit and fled on foot. The driver is described as a white male wearing blue jeans and a black shirt with a red logo and the passenger as a Hispanic female.

“CHP investigators believe they know who was driving the vehicle and will conduct follow-up as part of the ongoing investigation,” Officer Gutierrez told The Santa Barbara Independent on Monday morning.


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