Fatal Collision on West Carrillo Street – Driver Arrested for Vehicular Manslaughter
On November 14, 2021, around 8:20pm, the Santa Barbara Police Department Combined Communications Center received numerous reports of a serious traffic collision that had just occurred in the area of West Carrillo Street and Miramonte Drive. Callers stated two vehicles had been involved in a head-on collision and it appeared both drivers sustained extensive injuries from the crash.
Multiple officers, firefighters, and paramedics responded to the collision. Upon arrival, officers located a chaotic scene. The initial investigation showed two vehicles had collided head-on, and the only occupants in each of the vehicles were the drivers. Both the drivers needed to be extricated by the Santa Barbara City Fire Department and both were transported by ambulance to Cottage Hospital Emergency Room for medical treatment.
It appears a red Nissan sedan, driven by Jose Fermin Lopez Jr., was traveling west on West Carrillo Street at a high rate of speed and without headlights on. It is believed Lopez’s vehicle drifted into the lane of oncoming traffic. An older model Mercedes sedan was driving east on West Carrillo Street at that time. Lopez’s vehicle collided head-on with the Mercedes. Lopez Jr. is a 24-year-old Santa Barbara resident.
The driver of the Mercedes was treated at the hospital but tragically succumbed to injuries sustained in the collision. They were pronounced dead several hours after the collision occurred.
Officers believed Lopez was under the influence of alcohol and a DUI investigation was completed. Search and arrest warrants were approved by a Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge and Lopez was placed under arrest. He is suspected of being at fault for the collision.
Lopez is being charged with felony DUI Causing Death and felony Vehicular Manslaughter. Once released from the hospital, Lopez will be booked in Santa Barbara County Jail.
The Critical Accident Reconstruction Team responded to investigate the collision further. This case is currently under investigation and the name of the decedent is being withheld pending notification of family.