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Motorcyclist killed in suspected DUI crash in Santa Barbara

A motorcyclist was killed after being rear-ended by a suspected DUI driver in Santa Barbara.
Santa Barbara Police Department
A motorcyclist was killed after being rear-ended by a suspected DUI driver in Santa Barbara.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – A motorcyclist was killed Saturday afternoon in a multi-vehicle crash in Santa Barbara and the driver of a second vehicle was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.

It happened just before 2 p.m. near the intersection of East Cota Street and Salsipuedes Street.

According to the Santa Barbara Police Department, the motorcyclist was driving south on the 600 block of Salsipuedes Street near Ortega Park. A Jeep SUV driven by a 48-year-old Santa Barbara man was traveling behind the motorcycle when it rear-ended the motorcyclist.

The motorcyclist was ejected from the bike and launched about 85 feet across the road. The motorcycle continued to roll without the driver for half of a city block before crashing into a parked car, police said. The Jeep collided with a pickup truck.

A Santa Barbara motorcycle officer was first on scene and rendered aid until fire and ambulance personnel arrived.

Despite best efforts, the motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene. The motorcyclist has not yet been identified.

Roads were closed for several hours as the crash scene was investigated.

The driver of the Jeep, identified as Raul A. Gonzalez, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. He was briefly taken to the hospital but was discharged without injury.

He was booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail where he awaits charges for felony DUI causing death and felony vehicular manslaughter. His bail is set at $1 million.

The crash remains under investigation. Anyone with information about the crash is encouraged to contact the Santa Barbara Police Department.

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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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