Crime

Hit-and-run victim returns to thank Santa Barbara police investigators

After December incident, a suspect was convicted

A hit and run victim and his family come to the Santa Barbara Police Department to thank investigating officers for making an arrest. (John Palminteri/KEYT photo

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The victim of a near fatal hit and run has returned to the Santa Barbara Police department to thank the investigating officers.

Drew Daly said he was “ever so thankful to have people looking out for me when clearly I couldn't even look anywhere, let along for myself"

He is miraculously on the comeback.

Last December, Daly was hit by a passing vehicle while walking along Cabrillo Boulevard in Santa Barbara early in the morning. The driver took off. Daly was by the roadside for possibly four hours with multiple injuries including to his brain.

At the police station this morning he pointed to his body to describe the injuries, saying "this little bone right here (shoulder) and I broke  two parts of my spine and the brain  injury and I think that's pretty much it. "

Along with his family, Daly thanked officer Ethan Ragsdale and the team that used surveillance cameras and tips to find the driver of the hit and run. Daly’s mother said the family was getting constant updates from Radsdale as the investigation unfolded. “It was very evident it was not just a job for him he was in communication with my daughter Leah here morning, noon, and night on developments, sharing information,” said Teresa Howe.“We did not feel abandoned. We knew there was a lot going on."

She said the contact with the family showed compassion beyond what she expected.
“We were not just another check mark on a list. It was personal, it was warm and caring and it  held someone accountable for a very bad decision that they made"

Officer Ragsdale said, “I personally live in Santa Barbara. This is my community so I take  things that happen here personally. I am thankful that I am in a position as a police officer that I can take action and help the people of my community."

The driver of the SUV involved, Isaac Vega was sentenced to six years in prison, in part because he left the scene.

Deputy District Attorney, Wesley Meyer said, “depending on the victims injuries your punishment can be higher. In this case it was. He received additional enhancement because Drew suffered significant brain injuries"

Daly was a student at Santa Barbara City College student at the time of the hit and run and says he is anxiously looking forward to attending Cal State Northridge in the spring to continue his college education.


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