Fatal Collision Near Ortega Park
On Saturay at about 1:55 p.m., the Santa Barbara Police Command Communications Center received multiple calls reporting a serious injury traffic collision near the intersection of E. Cota St. and N. Salsipuedes St. The collision involved three vehicles and a motorcycle.
Officers discovered an unresponsive male laying in the road way. AMR Paramedics and Fire arrived on scene shortly after. Police say it appears that the motorcyclist was driving south in the 600 block of N. Salsipuedes St., near Ortega Park, when he was rear-ended by a Jeep SUV. Upon impact the motorcyclist was ejected and thrown approximately 85 feet before landing in the roadway. The Jeep then collided with a parked Dodge Ram pick-up and the motorcycle was struck with such force that it was propelled half a city block before colliding with a parked Toyota Sedan in the 500 block of N. Salsipuedes St.
The motorcyclist sustained serious injuries and was pronounced dead on the scene. His name is being withheld until the family is notified.
The Critical Accident Reconstruction team responded and is currently investigating the collision.
Authorities say the driver of the Jeep, 48-year-old Raul A. Gonzalez, is believed to be at-fault in the collision and is suspected of DUI. He was placed under arrest, transported to the Cottage Emergency Room from the scene of the collision for evaluation and discharged from the hospital without injuries.
Mr. Gonzalez is currently being charged with felony vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and felony DUI causing injury/death. He was booked in the Santa Barbara County Jail on $1,000,000 bail.