Hit-and-Run Driver Rescued, then Arrested

Hit-and-Run Driver Rescued, then Arrested
Photo: Domaciano Alfredo Cortez

Santa Barbara County – California State Highway 154, winding through the San Marcos Pass, connects the City of Santa Barbara with the neighboring Santa Ynez Valley communities of Solvang, Buellton, Santa Ynez, and Los Olivos. It’s a road heavily used by local area residents on both sides of the mountain, and is notoriously dangerous for anyone not accustomed to its hairpin turns and changes in elevation.

All of which may have played a part in the collision that took place near the road’s summit on the afternoon of October 26th involving a vehicle driven by 48-year-old Oxnard resident Donaciano Alfredo Cortez. According to CHP spokesman Officer Jonathan Gutierrez, Cortez immediately “fled the scene on foot.”

Once he did so, Cortez had limited routes of escape, and ran off into the steep mountain terrain and rugged chaparral on either side of the highway. Once he was off the pavement, however, Cortez found himself in challenging topography and “became stuck down a steep embankment.”

That terrain provided abundant cover for Cortez, and he went undetected by officers responding to the scene of the accident. It wasn’t until late that evening, when “his family reported him missing,” that a search was initiated with the help of the CHP, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department Mountain Rescue Team, the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, and a Ventura County Sheriff’s Department air support unit.

Cortez was located the following morning at the break of dawn. He was hoisted out of the ravine by helicopter, attended to by paramedics, and promptly taken into custody.

Cortez was then transported to Santa Barbara County Jail, where he was booked on charges of vehicular hit-and-run and on a no-bail warrant pursuant to “multiple DUI arrests.” He remains in custody on a no-bail hold.

Photo: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail Booking

Hit-and-Run Driver Rescued, then Arrested was last modified: November 15th, 2019 by admin
Categories: Santa Barbara
Tags: hit and run

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