Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Right turn goes awry


An attempted right hand turn onto Hope Avenue early yesterday morning went awry when a 24-year-old man who police say was intoxicated crashed into a retaining wall at a Washington Mutual bank at 3768 State Street.
Lt. Paul McCaffrey, a spokesman for the Santa Barbara Police Department, said four passengers ages 25, 24, 19 and 18 were all injured as a result of the collision. He said the most serious injury was a fractured and dislocated left hip. The driver was uninjured.

McCaffrey said an officer was patrolling the area when he heard the sound of squealing brakes, and then witnessed the black 2000 Lincoln Town Car run off the road and crash.
“When he approached Hitchcock Avenue,” McCaffrey said. “He was confused about this being Hope Avenue and started a right turn. He realized his mistake too late and crashed into the retaining wall.”
The driver was identified as Tiago Oliveira Ramos. McCaffrey said Ramos and the four passengers are all foreign students attending a local English language school. He said the group was celebrating international night at a downtown nightclub before the incident, which occurred at 1:15 a.m.
Ramos’ blood alcohol level was measured by a Breathalyzer test as being .17, more than twice the legal limit of .08, McCaffrey said.

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