An Arroyo Grande man was arrested Sunday after leading a CHP officer on a high-speed chase from Nipomo into Santa Maria, hitting several other vehicles in the process, according to a CHP news release.
Juan Benitez, 21, was taken into custody following the 3:20 p.m. incident. He suffered moderate injuries and was transported to Marian Regional Medical Center for treatment.
The CHP said charges are pending, but more information about the possible charges was not immediately available.
A CHP officer from the agency’s San Luis Obispo office, identified in the news release as M. Poelking, spotted Benitez driving a stolen Chevrolet Colorado pickup south on Highway 101 in Nipomo and attempted to stop him.
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Instead, the CHP said, Benitez drove at high speeds down the highway toward Santa Maria, taking the Broadway offramp into the city.
Benitez reportedly sideswiped four vehicles and collided head-on with a Mazda 626 at Donovan Road. Three of the Mazda’s four occupants, all Santa Maria residents, suffered moderate injuries. A 2-year-old was fastened in a child safety seat and was not hurt.
Claudio Ramirez, 22, the driver of the Mazda, and 19-year-old Erica Martinez were transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital; 20-year-old Hector Ramirez was taken to Marian.
Poelking then took Benitez into custody. The incident closed one block of Broadway at Donovan Road for about two hours.