A fatal accident in the early morning hours after St. Patrick’s Day near Carpinteria has left one passenger dead, while the car’s driver was taken into custody for gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, according to California Highway Patrol Public Information Officer Jonathan Gutierrez.
The accident occurred shortly after 2 a.m. on Friday, according to Gutierrez, when a silver Nissan sedan reportedly sped into the back of an “asphalt dump truck” driving in the same lane just south of North Padaro Lane. The Nissan then veered off the right shoulder of the southbound 101, hitting two trees before coming to a stop near the train tracks.
California Highway Patrol, Carpinteria-Summerland and Montecito fire departments, Santa Barbara Sheriff Office, and American Medical Response responded to the crash. The passenger of the Nissan “succumbed to their injuries on the scene,” Gutierrez said, and was pronounced dead by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Coroner’s Office. The driver of the Nissan suffered major injuries, while the driver of the truck did not suffer any injuries.
The driver of the Nissan, identified as 21-year-old Jonathan Jair Montoya, was taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for his injuries and later arrested for gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. His bail was set at $100,000. The name of the passenger is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
The crash is still under investigation by the California Highway Patrol, and anyone with information regarding the accident is encouraged to contact Officer Buenrostro at the California Highway Patrol at (805) 967-1234.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Santa Barbara County Fire Department responded to the crash.