Photo: scene of the collision
November 17, 2021 – Santa Barbara, Ca.
When 71-year-old Santa Barbara resident Steven Doyle Carlson went for a drive on Sunday night November 14th , he may have felt secure behind the wheel of his Mercedes-Benz sedan. He was wrong. Dead wrong.
According to Santa Barbara Police Department spokesman Sgt. Ethan Ragsdale, it was at approximately 8:20 p.m. that night when Carlson’s car, traveling eastbound on Santa Barbara’s busy downtown Carrillo Street, was slammed into by a Nissan sedan driven by 24-year-old Santa Barbara resident Jose Fermin Lopez, Jr. The head-on collision seriously injured Carlson who succumbed to his injuries that night while undergoing medical treatment at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.
Lopez, also taken to the hospital for treatment of his injuries, was determined to be “under the influence of alcohol” pursuant to the immediately ensuing DUI investigation. That evidence lead to the issuance of “search and arrest warrants” which were served upon Lopez while he remained in the hospital. Upon his release, Lopez “will be boked into the Santa Barbara County Jail,” Ragsdale reported.
While in the hospital, Lopez was arraigned and charged with murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury, and driving with a blood-alcohol content of 0.08% or more. According to Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley, Lopez did not enter a plea to the charges, but upon his transport
to Santa Barbara County Jail, “his bail will be set at $2,000,000.”
Photo: Courtesy Santa Barbara Police Department