Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Lieutenant Arrested for DUI Injury Crash

Javier Antunez, 44, Slammed Head-On Into an Oncoming Truck

The aftermath of the Highway 154 accident | Credit: County Fire

An off-duty Santa Barbara Sheriff’s lieutenant was arrested Saturday night for his involvement in a serious DUI injury crash on Highway 154 near the Lake Cachuma entrance. Javier Antunez, 44, was driving eastbound in a 2008 BMW when he struck a westbound 2009 Toyota Tacoma head-on. A third vehicle traveling westbound was unable to avoid the wreckage and crashed into the Tacoma.

Antunez and his passenger, 45-year-old Esther Emiko Trejo of Santa Barbara, both suffered major injuries and were taken by ambulance to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for treatment, authorities said. A passenger in the Tacoma also suffered major injuries. Three others were treated for minor to moderate injuries. 

Antunez, said Sheriff’s spokesperson Lt. Erik Raney, “was placed under arrest for driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and causing injury.” Antunez has been employed with the Sheriff’s Office since 1999 and is currently assigned as a custody lieutenant at the Main Jail. “He has been placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation,” said Raney.

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