DUI Arrest in Fatal Vehicle Collision on Highway 154

DUI Arrest in Fatal Vehicle Collision on Highway 154 title=
DUI Arrest in Fatal Vehicle Collision on Highway 154
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(Photos: BC David Neels/SBCFD)

Update by Santa Barbara County District Attorney
December 20, 2017

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley announced today that charges have been filed against Rigoberto Pauceno Gracida, as a result of a multi-vehicle crash that occurred on December 17, 2017 on Highway 154 just east of Zaca Station Road.  Hamilton Dias Bonilla and Antonia Bautista Santiago were killed in the crash.  Two other adults were also injured.

Gracida is being charged with two felony counts of driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury, in violation of Vehicle Code sections 23153(a) and (b), along with the misdemeanor offense of driving when his driving privilege was suspended, in violation of Vehicle Code section 14601.1(a).  The complaint alleges that more than one victim was injured and that some victims suffered great bodily injury. 

The defendant was arraigned on December 19, 2017 when bail was set in the amount of $300,000.  A Preliminary Hearing Setting is scheduled on December 21, 2017 in Dept. 6 of the Santa Maria Superior Court.


By edhat staff
December 17, 2017

Two people were pronounced dead in a multi-vehicle collision on Highway 154 near Zaca Station Road early Sunday morning. 

At 1:58 a.m., Santa Barbara County firefighters responded to SR-154 in the S curve area near Zaca Station Road in the Santa Ynez Valley. Units found three vehicles had left the roadway after a collision, two sedans and one minivan. Extrication was required for several vehicles, where one took approximately 10-15 minutes, said Public Information Officer Mike Eliason.

There were five people involved in the accident and two motorists, a male and a female, were pronounced dead at the scene. One other male suffered a major injury, one male suffered a moderate injury, and one female suffered a minor injury. The three patients were taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital by ground ambulance.

California Highway Patrol is investigating the cause of this incident. 

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Flicka Dec 20, 2017 04:41 PM
DUI Arrest in Fatal Vehicle Collision on Highway 154

Some victims "suffered great bodily injury"? Definitely great "bodily injury" when you're dead, no more suffering involved. Why isn't the DUI driver charged with manslaughter?

JB86 Dec 18, 2017 08:59 PM
DUI Arrest in Fatal Vehicle Collision on Highway 154

Newshawk reports the driver was arrested for DUI. Ironically, he survived with minor injuries. Where's the justice in that? Everyone involved was from Santa Maria. Not sure what that means.

a-1537975049 Dec 19, 2017 09:02 AM
DUI Arrest in Fatal Vehicle Collision on Highway 154

"Everyone involved was from Santa Maria. Not sure what that means." Um, it means that every one who was involved was from Santa Maria. That is, of course, unless you put that out there for some other reason? Care to elaborate?

a-1537975049 Dec 18, 2017 10:33 AM
DUI Arrest in Fatal Vehicle Collision on Highway 154

Is it my imagination or are some folks driving much more aggressively than usual these days? Santa Anas make some people a bit more volatile and after 2 weeks of them you'd think the effect was wearing off not getting worse.

REX OF SB Dec 18, 2017 12:46 PM
DUI Arrest in Fatal Vehicle Collision on Highway 154

It's been proven that motorists actually do drive crazier under windy conditions, due to the increased amount of positive ions in the air. These positive ions contribute to making people edgy, jumpy and nervous—factors that can lead to bad driving. Cops will tell you that people act nuttier during the wind than they do when there's a full moon. (I've also heard that "full-moon craziness" is more myth than anything else.)

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