Car Chase in Montecito; Pedestrian Critically Injured

Tuesday Afternoon Manhunt near Butterfly Beach

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[Original Story] Authorities said they have detained “a person of interest” after searching for a driver who, while being chased by Ventura police Tuesday afternoon, struck and critically injured pedestrian Jennifer Jenson, 58, of North Carolina, on Butterfly Lane at Channel Drive. The driver then crashed into a wall and fled on foot; two passengers were detained at the crash scene, where a handgun was recovered.

[Update: September 6, 1:45 p.m.] Two passengers in the Impala were identified by California Highway Patrol today as Diamonte Hickerson, 25, and Justyn Sanders, 26, of Minnesota. The driver remains at large and officers continue their search.

The incident, which took place during the usual pileup of cars along the two-lane 101 through Montecito around 4 p.m., began when the Ventura police officers, who were returning from dropping an inmate at a jail further north, saw a 2017 Chevy Impala coming down the shoulder of the southbound 101 at a high rate of speed, said Commander Tom Higgins, Ventura police public information officer. They were in a marked police car and pursued the Impala onto Channel Drive and Butterfly Lane, where the accident took place.

The Santa Barbara CHP is investigating the incident. The CHP arrest report states both individuals from the Impala were booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on Penal Code 182 (criminal conspiracy) and Health & Safety Code 11359(b) (marijuana for sale), though evidence appears to have been only seized from Hickerson.

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