Teen Arrested for DUI and Vehicle Theft in Mesa Collision

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Teen Arrested for DUI and Vehicle Theft in Mesa Collision
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Sofia Nichole Koch (Photo: Santa Barbara Police Department)

By edhat staff

A Santa Barbara teenager has been arrested for DUI, vehicle theft, and other crimes from a vehicle collision on the Mesa earlier this month.

Sofia Nichole Koch, a 19-year-old nanny, turned herself in to the Santa Barbara Police Department accompanied by her attorney on Wednesday. 

Initial reports state Koch allegedly took a vehicle from a gathering on May 7. Around 1:00 a.m., Santa Barbara Police responded to a collision in the 1500 Block of Cliff Drive that involved a serious injury from a moving vehicle colliding with two parked cars.

A 2020 Range Rover was traveling east on Cliff Drive at a very high rate of speed when it clipped a parked Volvo wagon then careened into a parked Scion sedan.

The velocity of the Range Rover caused the Scion to be hurled 160 feet down the road from where it was parked. The Range Rover then rolled, struck several trees and a concrete retaining wall.  The Range Rover's roof separated from the vehicle completely and was ejected down the road. The debris field spanned over 1,300 feet.

Scenes from the May 7 collision (Photo: Santa Barbara Police Department)

Koch, the driver, and her female passenger, 20-year-old Maesyn Fitzgibbons of Santa Barbara, were extricated from the Land Rover by first responders. Both sustained major injuries. They were transported by ambulance to Cottage Hospital.

Fitzgibbons sustained severe injuries including a broken sacrum, multiple breaks in the pelvis, and amputation of her left leg from the shin down. She's recovering at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

A GoFund Me fundraising account has been created to raise money for Fitzgibbon's medical expenses.

Koch has been officially charged with driving under the influence and causing great bodily injury as well as excessive speed, vehicle theft/joyriding, driving without a license, and refusing to take a blood-alcohol test. 

She remains in custody at the Santa Barbara Jail on $100,000 bail.

Related Articles

 May 7, 2020: Multi Vehicle Collision on Cliff Drive

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51 Comments

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theone May 24, 2020 07:18 PM
Teen Arrested for DUI and Vehicle Theft in Mesa Collision

Ohhh these girls are definitely privileged. The driver turns her self in with her attorney present apposed to the US martials picking her up on a felony warrant. And the Fitzgibbons girl has over $86,000 in her go fund me account. Lol $86,00 crazy

a-1591049249 May 23, 2020 08:27 AM
Teen Arrested for DUI and Vehicle Theft in Mesa Collision

Because she is a underage Drinker, whoever provided her the alcohol/drugs may be liable too! So much unknown right now about how these young ladies came to be under the influence and whose car they took. When they say joyriding, it makes me think that the vehicle belonged to her parents or a family friend or a friend of theirs or maybe the family that she nanny for, I think the vehicle belongs to somebody that they know because it's not Grand Theft that she is being charged with according to the article. I hope it's this one goes to trial that we can learn the whole story eventually, it could very well be an interesting one.

Get over it May 24, 2020 08:06 PM
Teen Arrested for DUI and Vehicle Theft in Mesa Collision

Really? You want this to go to trial, so you can know the whole story? That's hundreds of thousands of dollars combined and a massive chunk of that is on us. Plead out, pay your restitution and do your time.

Bird May 22, 2020 10:55 PM
Teen Arrested for DUI and Vehicle Theft in Mesa Collision

Very sad story; most of us at 19 have done something very stupid, getting into a car with a drunk friend driver, or being that drunk driver ourselves or something else that put ourselves at risk. I wish I had the money to contribute to her Go Fund Me.

a-1591049249 May 22, 2020 08:24 PM
Teen Arrested for DUI and Vehicle Theft in Mesa Collision

I’m not excusing what these girls did. I surely hoe they are punished enough to make them ever think of doing anything like this again. That being said, the wrath from the men on this website only illustrates the point that this town is full of creepers. Maybe these young women were running away from one in a purple ranger rover trying to take advantage of them...ever occur to you @ROGER? Again, I don’t know anything about them, or their families, and don’t know what situation they were in. I advise you to shut up and get some therapy for your incel tendencies.

Get over it May 22, 2020 09:01 PM
Teen Arrested for DUI and Vehicle Theft in Mesa Collision

Rodger, (who is also anonymous) You have multiple times led with her gender then followed by her race . We all get that she did something criminal. I for one feel sad that she made the choice. probably not a sober choice, to do what she did. She has to live with what she has done to her friend as well as the legal consequences. What exactly is your point?

a-1591049249 May 23, 2020 08:26 AM
Teen Arrested for DUI and Vehicle Theft in Mesa Collision

Because she is a underage Drinker, whoever provided her the alcohol/drugs may be liable too! So much unknown right now about how these young ladies came to be under the influence and whose car they took. When they say joyriding, it makes me think that the vehicle belonged to her parents or a family friend or a friend of theirs or maybe the family that she nanny for, I think the vehicle belongs to somebody that they know because it's not Grand Theft that she is being charged with according to the article.

a-1591049249 May 22, 2020 07:51 PM
Teen Arrested for DUI and Vehicle Theft in Mesa Collision

Auto insurance doesn't cover a vehicle that's been stolen and the damage it does during that period. Theu can sue her in a civil suit and she would be responsible, maybe her parents might have some responsibility if they're claiming her as a dependent and she lives at home and all that but probably not because she is over 18. So she gets sued, has no money and files bankruptcy. Hopefully the injured girl is on her parent's insurance.

Bene May 22, 2020 05:58 PM
Teen Arrested for DUI and Vehicle Theft in Mesa Collision

Roger you may well be right about this one. But at this point do you even know if this woman has money? She was working as a nanny. Not so high pay. And we know zero about her parents finances. That her looks will get her off is also debatable. I completely disagree with you that pretty women get a pass from the law. In almost every case I have read about or personally seen, people tend to throw the book HARDER at pretty women. They get killed more too. There is a lot of hostility toward those who look like they think they are pretty. Lawyers advise pretty clients to dial it down to mousy for court.

UNCLEBILLY May 22, 2020 04:46 PM
Teen Arrested for DUI and Vehicle Theft in Mesa Collision

This is a tragic event. Roger, you know better to post those comments. That is not like you! We don't know all of the circumstances that led up to this poor decision. The guilt will hang over the drivers head and may be insurmountable. One should not say that her passenger is culpable!? I pray( while not religious) that there will somehow be a positive outcome in the end game. Be well Maesyn!

Roger May 22, 2020 06:27 PM
Teen Arrested for DUI and Vehicle Theft in Mesa Collision

I doubt this gal feels guilty about anything eyes do not lie. I did see where someone said she is a habitual criminal so not everyone is crooked. My opinion her looks would give her a pass I am entitled to my opinion as you are to yours..I think race has to do with it too..I haven't seen 2 many women of color getting free rides. I believe I said "Her parents are probably rich." Will it's either that or they know someone, who knows someone else. I bet she is going to 12 step meeting right now...My opinion.

Ryan93105 May 22, 2020 04:04 PM
Teen Arrested for DUI and Vehicle Theft in Mesa Collision

Will she do the "Y" pose (arms up and out) entering the jail that girls do when they travel to a new place? Hopefully there's more than a sliver of sunshine going through her cell window so she can do the heart-hands formation.

Get over it May 22, 2020 08:07 PM
Teen Arrested for DUI and Vehicle Theft in Mesa Collision

Rodger... You're right that Midair nailed it. I would think you might have some empathy having been in those shoes, sort of. I'm sure it's a trigger for you and it's definitely showing. Curious, did you do 15 years, as you suggested? If not, is it because you're a privileged white man living in Santa Barbara, so you must be wealthy and have family influence. right? Yeah, don't judge a book bro. I have no Idea a single thing about her besides what I have just read and none about you, besides what you've posted. I wouldn't base my opinion on anyone on their photo.

Roger May 22, 2020 05:54 PM
Teen Arrested for DUI and Vehicle Theft in Mesa Collision

MIDAIR is Exactly Right more people ought to consider this and I speak from the mouth of a Horses ass I have done it too...Girlfriends little brother through a windshield of a vehicle I took without permission I hit a cop car in a pursuit Apirl 3rd 1979 doing 106mph that kid was in intensive care 3 days he damn near died. It took a few more crashes to learn my lesson...So many years later people are still doing stupid shit.

a-1591049249 May 22, 2020 02:52 PM
Teen Arrested for DUI and Vehicle Theft in Mesa Collision

Oh man, hurts my guts! Her passenger was also culpable here, no way that she didn't know that the driver was intoxicated and joyriding, etc. A couple of young ladies made some disastrous decisions that will forever impact their lives. So sad! I'm grateful that they didn't harm anyone else, it allows me to feel sad for the both of them.

Thomas John May 23, 2020 07:45 AM
Teen Arrested for DUI and Vehicle Theft in Mesa Collision

Trivial correction - but the 'suicide seat' is the one directly behind the front passenger. The front passenger seat is known as the 'shotgun' seat from old stagecoach days. Hence the sad play of words for the one behind the shotgun.....

mtndriver May 22, 2020 07:51 PM
Teen Arrested for DUI and Vehicle Theft in Mesa Collision

Poster at 3:05--I remember that the front passenger seat in a car used to be called the "suicide seat"--I think that was before airbags and seatbelt laws. May it was the steering column that made the difference back then. Now the airbag deploys from the steering wheel, so that provides a lot of protection. But the passenger in this car apparently had a foot up on the dashboard. In a head-on collision, that is a serious problem. Both these girls will be experiencing the consequences of their choices that night for the rest of their lives. So glad they didn't harm anyone else. Such a waste.

a-1591049249 May 22, 2020 05:24 PM
Teen Arrested for DUI and Vehicle Theft in Mesa Collision

These girls were underage drinkers. I have zero sympathy for kids who think it's okay to break the law and get s--t-faced drunk at parties or elsewhere. I remember being 19. Peer pressure is enormous, but that doesn't give you a free pass to be stupid. I had a 19-year-old female tenant (SBCC student) who had only lived at my place for about a month, when she was brought home from I.V. one night, drunk off her ass and stumbling around, slurring her words. (I posted about this on Edhat a couple years ago.) I was surprised she could remember her address, she was that drunk. She was brought home by a complete stranger, a good samaritan female. I never told the parents and hoped the girl had learned a good lesson. Just a few months back, I went outside and caught this same tenant entertaining guests with beer and wine. There were a couple boys who didn't even look 18. I shut that down and gave the tenant a "Don't do that again" talk. She was several months shy of her 21st B-day. If any one of those kids had injured someone while being DUI and having left my property drunk, I could've been held criminally responsible: liable for contributing to the deliquency of a minor, causing reckless endangerment, who knows what. A short while later, when the opportunity arose, I included in an email to the parents of my tenant that their darling sweet girl had been underage drinking and encouraging others to do the same. (I didn't mention the earlier incident where she was brought home in a drunken stupor.) The parents never showed any concern over her drinking and didn't even acknowledge my concern. Yes, I blame the parents; up to a point. But ----- again ------ I remember being 19. It was my choice NOT to drink. My friends were constantly on my case about it, but I chose not to be an idiot.

a-1591049249 May 22, 2020 04:31 PM
Teen Arrested for DUI and Vehicle Theft in Mesa Collision

Agree with 2:57. No way passenger didn’t know her friend was drunk and that they were getting into a car that didn’t belong to them. Her injuries are extremely unfortunate but her morals are deeply questionable. For anyone who wants to ask if I ever made stupid decisions as a person her age. Yes, but only about 1/1000 as stupid as this.

a-1591049249 May 22, 2020 03:05 PM
Teen Arrested for DUI and Vehicle Theft in Mesa Collision

That's how it seems to work! Always makes me wonder if the steering column provides the driver with extra life saving protection that passengers don't get? Just the fact that they are alive impresses me and reading the most recent post from her mom on GoFundMe made me cry, I can't imagine how all of it would feel if it was MY kid, if either of them was MY kid. A series of horrible choices. Normally I'm not sympathetic about the driver in these situations but I really am for the driver this time, she's just a baby too.

a-1591049249 May 22, 2020 02:57 PM
Teen Arrested for DUI and Vehicle Theft in Mesa Collision

I agree. Both culpable for a bad decision. Sad the friend bears the brunt w life changing injuries. Columbia and pre med tainted w an irresponsible drunken joy ride in a stolen vehicle. The whole thing very sad.

a-1591049249 May 22, 2020 01:30 PM
Teen Arrested for DUI and Vehicle Theft in Mesa Collision

How terrible. My family and I extend our best wishes for the speedy recovery of the young girl who now faces the inexorably painful reality and life challenges due to loss of limb. May she heal well and stay strong.

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