A 19-year-old Santa Maria man was arrested early Monday after allegedly leading sheriff's deputies on a chase in a stolen car.
At 1:30 a.m., deputies attempted to stop a Toyota Avalon speeding north on Halcyon Road toward Highway 1 in Oceano after a check of its license plate identified the vehicle as stolen out of Pismo Beach, according to the Sheriff's Department.
After speeding through several red lights, the driver lost control and crashed head-on into a palm tree near the railroad tracks at Highway 1, the Sheriff's Department said. The driver then abandoned the vehicle and began running south along the railroad tracks. Deputies lost sight of him when he ran into a creekbed near the entrance to a mobile home park.
When officers from the Grover Beach Police Department and Arroyo Grande Police Department’s canine unit joined in the search, the driver, identified as Ivan Vergara, surrendered to deputies, according to the Sheriff's Department.
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Vergara was taken to a local hospital for medical clearance and then to County Jail, where he was booked on suspicion of auto theft, evading officers and possession of Ecstasy. He is being held without bail for three additional warrants out of Santa Barbara County.