A 23-year-old UCSB student was still being held in Santa Barbara County Jail Sunday afternoon after he drove his car into a group of pedestrians on the 6500 block of Sabado Tarde Road early Friday morning, and then fled the scene of the accident.
Senior Sean Michael Cottrell was allegedly under the influence of alcohol when he took a sharp left turn onto the street and jumped the curb, hitting 11 pedestrians with his car at 2 a.m. California Highway Patrol Officer Donald Clotworthy said Cottrell backed off the curb after he hit the people, drove a short distance down the street, parked the car and fled on foot. Ten of the pedestrians suffered only minor injuries, and one man sustained a broken ankle.
Cottrell was arrested Friday afternoon and charged with felony hit-and-run and a felony DUI. An Inmate Records official at the Santa Barbara County Jail said Cottrell is being held at the jail and has a pending release date of Feb. 6. Clotworthy said his bail was set at $100,000. The incident is still under investigation.
Clotworthy said Cottrell, a resident of Orange, Calif., was driving his roommate’s black BMW home after a night of drinking at The Study Hall downtown. He was traveling eastbound on Camino Pescadero Road and turning onto Sabado Tarde when he lost control of the vehicle.
CHP officers used the car’s license plate number and registration to determine its owner and obtained a search warrant for Cottrell’s residence – located on the 6500 block of Sabado – after questioning his roommates.
Clotworthy said evidence found during the search pointed toward Cottrell who was arrested that afternoon. Officers determined that he had allegedly been drunk at the time of the accident after speaking with people who had seen him that night, including his friends and the bartender at The Study Hall.
Beau Radentz, a third-year biopsychology major and a resident of the 6500 block of Sabado Tarde, said the BMW hit a crowd that had gathered on the corner to listen to live music. The car hit him and knocked him onto his lawn, he said.
“I was sitting on a stool playing the mandolin and my roommate was playing the guitar and harmonica when the car hit us,” Radentz said.
Patrick Scoggins, a second-year film major, said he also witnessed the incident. He said the car hit his friend Chris Kisela, 20, who was visiting from Northern California. Scoggins said Kisela, who was not seriously injured, was talking to people on the corner when the car jumped the curb.
Scoggins said nobody knew what to do until the police arrived.
“There were groups of people gathering and everyone was trying to figure out what was going on,” Scoggins said.