Just after noon on June 3rd, passersby and tourists enjoying the sights and sounds of Santa Barbara’s iconic Waterfront, were stunned at the sight of a white Audi A4 careening down busy Cabrillo Blvd., which parallels the shoreline just steps away.
According to Santa Barbara Police Department Public Information Officer Sgt. Riley Harwood, witnesses observed the Audi attempt a U-turn in heavy traffic and suddenly crash into a pickup truck parked at curbside. “She fled the scene, eastbound, followed by a witness,” Harwood reported to the media in describing the vehicular violence.
It was at that time, just after noon, that SBPD dispatch received a 911 Emergency call reporting the mayhem. Pursuant to that call, SBPD Officers Daniel Garcia, Kyle Crooks, John Thompson, and Todd Montag rushed to the scene. While they were enroute, however, the Audi—its driver refusing bystanders’ suggestion to return to the scene of the collision with the pickup truck—continued its wayward path and summarily collided with a Honda SUV parked near The Santa Barbara Zoo.
A witness at that scene “saw the collision,” Harwood said in his report, “and noticed the driver had a child on her lap.” It was at that time that the driver, Adriana Cardenas, 34, exited her vehicle and moved her 3-year old daughter to a child’s car seat in the rear of the car.
Witnesses at this second accident scene urged Cardenas to remain in place, but Cardenas ignored that and drove northward toward a busy commercial neighborhood. With witnesses pointing the way to the four responding officers, Cardenas was found a short time later passed out behind the wheel of the Audi. When roused, according to Harwood, she “appeared lethargic and heavily impaired.”
Cardenas and her toddler—complaining of a headache—were transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for evaluation and treatment. Cardenas was determined to be under the influence of prescription medication and narcotics, and was subsequently booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of felony child endangerment, misdemeanor DUI, and misdemeanor hit-and-run. Her bail was set at $100,000 and her daughter was remanded to the custody of Santa Barbara County Child Welfare Services.
Photo: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail Booking
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