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Man charged with murder for deadly Santa Barbara crash makes first court appearance

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – A Santa Barbara man charged with murder in a deadly DUI crash appeared in court for his arraignment Monday morning.

Police say 24-year-old Jose Fermin Lopez caused a head-on crash last week, killing the other driver, 71-year-old Steven Carlson.

The crash happened on Sunday, Nov. 14 on West Carrillo Street.

Investigators say Lopez was driving under the influence of alcohol and speeding with his headlights off when he slammed into Carlson's car.

Both Lopez and Carlson were seriously injured in the crash and needed to be rescued from their vehicles. Carlson died later at the hospital and Lopez was charged for his death and arraigned from his hospital bed.

Lopez has been charged with murder in addition to vehicular manslaughter and DUI for the crash.

The crash remains under investigation.

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