Santa Barbara County – The sun had set an hour earlier along the Gaviota Coast just north of the City of Goleta on the evening of October 30th as commuters headed northbound at freeway speeds on U.S. 101.
Suddenly, something was wrong on the road ahead…something very wrong. Instead of the usual taillights speeding off into the distance at speeds in the 70 mph range, drivers found themselves staring into the glare of oncoming headlights headed right for them with a converging speed well in excess of 100mpg.
According to CHP spokesman Sgt. Jim Richards, 911 Emergency calls began flooding in to report “a black GMC SUV driving south in the northbound lanes” and that a white Toyota Celica had taken evasive action and careened off the highway and into a roadside ditch to avoid a deadly collision.
Moments later, a Toyota Highlander suffered the same fate, swerving off the highway “to avoid a crash.” Neither of those drivers was injured as the suspect vehicle “continued southbound, eventually crossing onto the correct side of the highway before exiting the freeway.”
CHP units responding to the area began a pursuit of the GMC SUV, eventually pulling it over on Cathedral Oaks Road, paralleling the 101. Contact was promptly made with the driver, 49-year-old Sean Robert Tait. He was given a field sobriety test and determined to be driving under the influence and driving without a valid license.
Tait was transported to Santa Barbara County Jail where he was booked on DUI and assorted vehicular violations.
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