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Person of interest in Montecito felony hit-and-run now in custody

UPDATE 10:00 a.m. 9/5/2018

The California Highway Patrol says Ventura police had been in pursuit of the involved Chevrolet Impala for reckless driving on U.S. Highway 101 when the chase exited the freeway towards Channel Drive in Montecito.

The driver of the Impala turned right onto Butterfly Lane and hit a pedestrian, identified as 58-year-old Jennifer Jensen, of Conover, North Carolina. Jensen was walking with her two friends on the edge of the roadway at the time of the crash, according to CHP.

The victim suffered a broken arm and internal injuries, according to the traffic collision report.

After the collision, the Chevrolet was driven into a large wall on the opposite side of the roadway, CHP added.

Ventura police detained two male passengers that were riding in the Impala later identified as 25-year-old Diamonte Markel Hickerson of Newport, Minnesota, and 26-year-old Justyn Desean Sanders of Maplewood Minnesota. The bail for each has been set at $50,000.

Santa Barbara area law enforcement and medical personnel were notified of the incident by Ventura police, says the CHP’s traffic collision report. The Santa Barbara Area CHP, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, and Santa Barbara police responded and quickly set up a perimeter and search for the driver of the Chevrolet.

CHP says they are investigating the incident and there is a person of interest currently detained.

An emergency alert was sent to approximately 3,715 area residents shortly after 5 p.m., according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, using voice, email and text messages to registered users as well as landline users.

The notification includes all location south (ocean-side) of U.S. 101 between the Andre Clark Bird Refuge and Sheffield, and a portion of Montecito between Montecito Country Club and Sheffield.

UPDATE 6:19 p.m.

California Highway Patrol reports that an individual possibly matching the hit-and-run suspect description has been detained at gunpoint in the area of southbound U.S. Highway 101 and Bailard Avenue in Carpinteria.

Authorities are working to identify that person.

During the manhunt in Montecito, there were reports that the suspect may have been taking off articles of clothing while fleeing from police. CHP described the man detained in Carpinteria as a black male adult wearing a white shirt and blue jeans. They say the man was attempting to flag down motorists for a ride.

CHP Public Information Officer Jonathan Gutierrez said the search for a third suspect in this felony hit-and-run investigation is ongoing but the victim is expected to survive.

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Authorities are currently investigating a hit-and-run that seriously injured a pedestrian in the area of Butterfly Lane and Channel Drive in Montecito Tuesday afternoon.

The pedestrian was taken to the hospital with major injuries and two suspects were detained by police. The California Highway Patrol says a third suspect, believed to be the driver, remains on the loose.

Authorities are actively looking for the third suspect along the nearby railroad tracks currently described as a black male adult wearing a white shirt and shorts, possibly armed with a handgun, according to emergency traffic radio.

The suspect was last seen in the area of Butterfly Lane and Coast Village Road but may have headed in the direction of the Music Academy of the West near Fairway Road.

Police have requested air support and a K9 unit to assist in the suspect search. A perimeter has been set up with CHP stationing on Coast Village Road.

A witness described the crash victim as a middle-aged woman and said the white-colored Chevrolet sedan with Idaho license plates being driven by the suspects was traveling at a high rate of speed and being chased by police before colliding with the victim.

Ventura police happen to be in the area reportedly transporting a prisoner to Santa Barbara when the hit-and-run occurred and stopped to help.

No further details were immediately known. This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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