Trevor Crain, on the move
SANTA BARBARA COUNTY — Proving once again that life often imitates art, a high-speed car chase on U.S. 101 through Santa Barbara County could easily have been a scene out of a corny TV cop show, where “cliff hangers” help hold an audience through commercial breaks.
But this case wasn’t fiction, beginning on the morning of February 24th when a Ford pickup truck, careening at speeds in excess of 100 mph down the 101 southbound freeway, became the object of a traffic violation pursuit north of the Santa Barbara-San Luis Obispo county line.
As CHP units engaged in the pursuit, the truck swerved onto the freeway center divider and forced a Volvo driver to swerve and collide with a semi-trailer truck.
The Volvo driver immediately lost control, the car rolling over multiple times. According to Santa Barbara County Fire Department spokesman Capt. Dave Zaniboni, the driver was “a middle aged man who was transported to the hospital with moderate injuries,” while his dog suffered moderate injuries and was taken into the care of Santa Barbara County Animal Control deputies.
Ignoring the massive accident he had just caused, the driver of the pickup truck—later determined to be Morro Bay resident Trevor Crain, 33—continued southbound at a high rate of speed as CHP and Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department units followed him into the City of Goleta.
At that point, according to CHP spokesman Ofcr. Jonathan Gutierrez, Crain “avoided a spike strip”, exited the freeway and re-entered heading northbound.
By this time, CHP and SBSD Air Support were tracking Crain’s flight as he drove through a Caltrans construction area “and then hit a spike strip heading northbound,” which brought the pickup truck to a halt after it crashed through a locked fence.
Crain quickly alighted from the truck and fled on foot toward a shoreline area marked by steep cliffs. When deputies arrived at the area surveilled by aircraft, they found Crain hanging off the edge of the cliff, unable to descend any further without risking a serious fall onto the beach below.
“The suspect was hanging on the side of a cliff and pulled a knife out,” Gutierrez reported. It apparently didn’t take Crain long to figure out his options had run out, and after dropping the knife as instructed, he was hauled off his precarious perch by SBCO Fire Department personnel using a rope-drop.
Crain was taken into custody and transported to Santa Barbara County Jail, where he was charged with multiple vehicle code violations, evading arrest, and resisting arrest. Further investigation into Crain’s motive for his actions is ongoing.
Photo: Courtesy SBCOFD