Santa Barbara County – The perils of drinking and driving were brought home to an innocent motorist traveling through the City of Lompoc at approximately 10:00 p.m. on December 21st when an SUV driven by another driver under the influence slammed into his car and sent him to the hospital with what Lompoc Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Deanna Clement described to the media as “moderate injuries.”
When first responders arrived at the West Central Avenue crash site, the first order of business was to transport the injured victim to the nearest hospital. As soon as that was accomplished, officers on the scene observed a truck in a nearby commercial parking lot which bore evidence of having recently been in an accident.
Further investigation determined that the suspect truck had in fact been traveling eastbound in Central Avenue’s westbound lanes, and then “careened over curbs to slam into four other unoccupied vehicles parked nearby, one of which was forced into a block wall.”
After piecing together the physical evidence at the scene and determining that the chaos had been caused by the errant truck, its driver was eventually located and identified as 37-year-old Lompoc resident Clarence Erickson.
Erickson himself was transported to Marian Regional Medical Center for treatment of his injuries, and upon his release a short time later was placed under arrest and transported to Santa Barbara County Jail, where he was booked on charges of hit-and-run driving under the influence causing injury.
Photo: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail Booking