Drunk driver involved in violent, major-injury crash on Highway 217 in Goleta

GOLETA, Calif. - Two men are recovering from major injuries suffered during a head-on collision on Highway 217 to UC Santa Barbara early Friday morning.

The California Highway Patrol says one of the men, 21-year-old Goleta resident Grady James Hocking, was driving his 2018 Mazda while under the influence of alcohol. Hocking was initially driving northbound on the southbound lanes of U.S. Highway 101 before traveling the wrong way westbound on Highway 217, CHP said.

Meanwhile, a 53-year-old Oxnard man was driving eastbound on Highway 217 in his 2012 Dodge approaching the wrong-way driver. The two crashed head-on at the U.S. 101/Highway 217 transition. The driver suffered a broken right leg while Hocking suffered a fractured sternum, according to the CHP collision report.

Both drivers were wearing their seatbelts at the time of the crash which likely saved their lives.

Hocking was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.

The eastbound Highway 217 interchange was closed for approximately one hour during the on-scene investigation. Traffic on the freeway was not impacted during this time. The incident occurred shortly before 1:30 a.m. June 8.

The investigation into the crash is ongoing.

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