SANTA BARBARA, Calif, - A high-speed chase that began when police tried to pull over a car, ended with a car crashing into a backyard and a woman sent to the hospital in Santa Barbara.
The accident occured just before 9:30 p.m. Saturday night.
Police tell NewsChannel 3 the 17-year-old driver had taken a family member's car. She was involved in several hit and run accidents on Las Positas Road and on Cliff Drive on the Mesa before police spotted her and began following her.
When they turned on their red lights, the driver sped away, traveling at speeds up to 100 miles per hour. At some point, the driver turned off her lights, causing the police to lose sight of the car. Police decided to end the pursuit out of safety for the public.
Authorities later received a call that a car had crashed into a backyard of a house on the corner of Cliff Drive and La Marina. When they arrived, they found the car on its side. The driver was able to free herself from the car.
Homeowner Debbie Lemke, said she felt the house shake and she heard a big bang. "I heard something in the bushes. I said 'hello, hello?' Then all of a sudden this lady comes walking out. She says ‘help me,'" Lemke said.
Los Angeles resident Shant Hamayan, was driving on Cliff Drive when it happened. "All of a sudden we see a car speeding right in front of us. It just lost control. I think it tried to avoid our vehicle, and lost control and went right in the bushes," Hamayan said.
The woman was taken to Cottage Hospital with non life-threatening injuries.
Police say it appears that drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash.
The driver could be charged with auto theft, hit and run, and abating police.23020552