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Santa Barbara man charged for motorcyclist’s death in weekend crash


SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The driver of a vehicle that allegedly rear-ended a motorcyclist leading to his death has been charged in court.

Raul Gonzalez, 48, of Santa Barbara was charged with one count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and one count of driving under the influence of alcohol for a crash that left Kenneth Warfield Sterling dead.

The crash happened Saturday afternoon near the intersection of East Cota Street and Salsipuedes Street.

Sterling was ejected from his motorcycle after being hit by a Jeep SUV driven by Gonzalez. He was launched more than 85 feet before landing in the roadway.

Sterling died at the scene and Gonzalez was transported to the hospital. He was later released without injury and then arrested for his role in the crash.

Investigators say Gonzalez was at fault for the crash and allege he was driving under the influence when he crashed into the back of Sterling's motorcycle.

Gonzalez was booked into jail and is currently being held on a $100,000 bail.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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Travis Schlepp

Travis Schlepp is the Digital Content Director for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Travis, click here.

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