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Identity Released of Hit-and-Run Victim

Authorities Still Looking for Suspect Vehicle


Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Simon Chavez
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Simon Chavez

The person killed in a vehicle vs. pedestrian hit-and-run collision early Tuesday morning has been identified as 22-year-old Santa Barbara resident Simon Chavez.

According to the CHP, Chavez was staggering along the southbound lanes of Highway 101 between the Ortega Street overcrossing and the Castillo Street offramp at around 1 a.m. when he was struck. The driver fled the scene, but based on evidence collected nearby authorities determined the suspect vehicle is a white Hyundai that likely has damage to its front and driver's side.

CHP spokesperson James Richards said Wednesday morning that his office — phone number (805) 967-1234 — recently received a tip about the incident and that the investigation is ongoing.

It's unclear at this point if drugs or alcohol played a factor in Chavez's death. A toxicology report is pending, authorities said.

A graduate of Santa Barbara High School, Chavez was a volunteer baseball coach at his alma mater. According to his Facebook page, he worked at Cafe del Sol in Montecito.

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