Santa Barbara DA Charges Driver with Murder in Fatal Carrillo Street Collision

Collision Resulted in Death of Retired UCSB Administrator

Credit: SBPD

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley announced Thursday that a felony complaint has been filed against the driver involved in the fatal head-on collision on Carrillo Street Monday that resulted in the death of 71-year-old Steven Carlson, a retired UCSB administrator.

Jose Fermin Lopez Jr., 24, of Santa Barbara, was the driver and sole occupant of a Nissan Altima that swerved out of its lane and into oncoming traffic — reportedly traveling at a high speed with its headlights off — colliding head-on with a Mercedes-Benz driven by Carlson. Carlson was transported to the hospital but passed away hours after the accident. Lopez is charged with the following felony counts: one count of murder, one count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, one count of driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury, and one count of driving with a .08 percent or higher blood alcohol content causing injury.

Lopez was arraigned Thursday from the hospital, where he is recovering from the injuries he sustained in the collision. Lopez did not enter a plea, and the arraignment was continued to November 22. Bail has been set at $2 million.


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