Officials are searching for a hit-and-run driver after a pedestrian was struck and killed Sunday night on Highway 135 in Orcutt in Santa Barbara County.
A massive emergency response was dispatched to the scene near Goodwin Road about 6:30 p.m., including personnel from the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, the Santa Maria fire and police departments, sheriff’s deputies, the California Highway Patrol and an American Medical Response ambulance.
“When we arrived we found a deceased pedestrian who we’ve yet to identify,” CHP acting Sgt. Kevin Rose said. “At this point, it appears to be a hit-and-run, and we are encouraging the public to call if they have any information.”
Late Sunday, the CHP said the victim was an 18-year-old Palmdale woman. Her name is being withheld until family members are notified.
The CHP said it appears the woman may have stepped into oncoming southbound traffic against a red light for pedestrians.
“A witness stopped at the intersection observed that the traffic signals for the southbound traffic were green,” the CHP said.
Despite the red light, the witness saw the woman cross the highway, also known as the Orcutt Expressway, from the west side of the roadway and into the oncoming traffic.
CHP investigators said a southbound Ford Explorer struck the woman, who apparently was thrown about 150 feet south of the crosswalk. Her body came to rest in a southbound lane.
The CHP said the SUV driver fled the scene, continuing to travel south.
Officials initially said the suspect was driving in a white or light-colored, four-door sedan.
Rose said the vehicle will have “pretty significant front-end damage.”
He said the Sheriff’s Office issued a call using the 911 system, along with text messages and emails, alerting Orcutt residents about the suspect’s vehicle.
“We’re relying on the public for help on this one,” Rose said. “And we’re still doing the investigation of the crime scene. It is an active crime scene.”
The southbound lanes of Highway 135 between Waller Lane and Skyway Drive/Lakeview Road were closed for approximately two hours during the investigation.
Anyone with information about the driver’s identity or location of the vehicle is asked to call 911, or the CHP’s dispatch center at 805-593-3333.
Also, in San Luis Obispo County, a Grover Beach man was killed on northbound Highway 101 on Monday morning when he was struck by a vehicle south of South Higuera Street, the CHP said.