Fatal Collision Occurs Near Ortega Park

Authored on
November 26, 2021

On November 27, 2021, around 1:55pm, the Santa Barbara Police Combined Communications Center received multiple reports of a serious injury traffic collision near the intersection of East Cota Street and Salsipuedes Street. The collision involved three vehicles and a motorcycle.

Santa Barbara Police, Fire, and AMR Paramedics responded to the scene. Officers discovered an adult male unresponsive laying in the roadway. A motor officer was first on scene, rendered aid, and soon fire, and paramedics arrived.

In the early stages of the investigation, it appears the motorcyclist was driving south in the 600 block of North Salsipuedes Street, near Ortega Park. A Jeep SUV was also driving south behind the motorcyclist and rear-ended the motorcycle, ultimately ejecting him approximately 85 feet before landing in the roadway. The Jeep then collided with a parked Dodge Ram Pick-up truck. The motorcycle was struck with such force it careened riderless half a city block before colliding with a parked Toyota sedan in the 500 block of North Salsipuedes Street.

Tragically, the motorcyclist sustained serious injuries and was pronounced dead at the collision scene. The Critical Accident Reconstruction Team responded and is currently investigating this collision. The roads in this area will be closed to all vehicles and pedestrians for several hours, please avoid the area.

The driver of the Jeep and believed to be at-fault in the collision, Raul A. Gonzalez, a 48-year-old Santa Barbara resident is suspected of being DUI at the time of the collision and was placed under arrest. He was transported to Cottage Emergency Room from the scene of the collision for evaluation and discharged from the hospital without sustaining injuries. Gonzalez is currently being charged with felony vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and felony DUI causing injury or death. He will be booked in the Santa Barbara County Jail with $1,000,000 bail.

This case is still under investigation and no other information is available at this time. The decedents name is being withheld until family can be notified.