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One Hiker is Killed, Another is Rescued
updated: Mar 18, 2014, 1:05 PM

Source: The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office

UPDATE at 12:30pm on 3/18/14: The Sheriff’s Office Releases Identities of Hikers

The hiker whose body was found yesterday morning, March 17, on lower Cold Springs Trail near Tangerine Falls is 22-year-old Brenden Michael Vega of Ventura. He was hiking with his friend, 22-year-old Saylor Guilliams, also of Ventura at around 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 16. She was found by several hikers injured with two broken ankles and a broken wrist, among other injuries, around 4 p.m. yesterday, March 17 at the base of Tangerine Falls. Vega’s body was discovered by a couple who was hiking in the area. He was located at the bottom of an embankment in a heavily wooded and rocky area. It took Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team members several hours to extricate the body and transport it out of the area.

Just as Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team members had completed the call around 4 p.m. yesterday, they received another call that there was an injured hiker located at the base of Tangerine Falls about one hundred yards above where Vega was discovered. A group of hikers discovered Guilliams lying unresponsive in a concealed area off the trail. She was airlifted out of the area by Santa Barbara County Air Support Unit Copter 3 and transported to a local hospital where she is still recovering from her injuries.

The hikers had gone on a late afternoon hike and were unprepared for the conditions. The lights from their cell phones were not enough to illuminate their path and the hikers fell and injured themselves several times. After calling for help for several hours, Vega reportedly left Guilliams alone to get help. While traveling down the trail, he fell off a rocky ledge and was killed.

The cause of death is under investigation by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office and is pending toxicology results.

The photo was taken by Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue and is from the first incident involving the hiker who was fatally injured.


The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office is investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a young male hiker whose body was found this morning, March 17, on Cold Springs Trail near Tangerine Falls and the rescue of a female hiker who was found this afternoon in the area. Both incidents are still under investigation, but at this point it appears the young couple, both in their twenties, went on a hike around 4 p.m. yesterday, March 16, and about 45 minutes into the hike they fell. The female suffered two broken ankles and a broken wrist. The male hiker suffered a serious injury to his arm. After a period of time, the male hiker went to get help and was fatally injured when he fell again about 20 to 30 feet down a rocky ledge.

At approximately 10:30 a.m. this morning, a couple hiking on the lower Cold Springs Trail, called 9-1-1 to report seeing a body about 10 to 15 feet off the trail. Sheriff's deputies and Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Search and Rescue team members responded to the area and found the decedent. Due to the location of the body, it took Sheriff's Search and Rescue volunteers several hours to transport the decedent out of the area.

Just before 4 p.m. today, several hikers in the upper Cold Springs Trail area discovered an injured female hiker and called 9-1-1. Sheriff's Search and Rescue Team members responded along with personnel from the Montecito Fire Protection District who made contact with the victim. She was airlifted to a local hospital by Santa Barbara County Air Support Unit Copter 3. The victim is in the hospital recovering from her injuries.

The identities of the two hikers involved in this incident are being withheld at this time.

Is there something happening on 154? A subscriber heard a lot of sirens and now a few helicopters. (03/18/14)
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