Local News

Aug 9, 2010 9:45 PM by Ariel Wesler

Deadly high speed chase could be alcohol related

Investigators believe alcohol is a factor in a deadly high speed pursuit through Orcutt over the weekend.

40-year old Erik Bagby of Santa Maria was killed after crashing his truck early Sunday morning. The chase began in Old Town Orcutt around 1 a.m. Officers noticed the man was driving with his lights off. When they tried to pull him over, he took off.

These are the remains of the truck destroyed in sunday morning's deadly pursuit through Orcutt.

"You have a vehicle travelling through this small town of orcutt at high rates of speed on a highway with no head lights on and thankfully no other vehicles involved involved during that," said CHP Officer Craig Rude, who's investigating the crash.

California Highway Patrol officers noticed 40-year old Erik Bagby was driving with his lights off. When they tried to pull him over in Old Town Orcutt, he took off on Clark Avenue reaching speeds of up to 120 miles an hour and traveling the wrong way.

Eastbound in the Westbound traffic lane for approximately 1.7 miles," Rude said.

He eventually lost control east of Telephone Road and slammed into a rock and then this water main--killing him instantly.

The truck hit the water main so hard, it broke off this piece of pipe and flooded the entire area. The truck then flipped and landed in a field owned by Glad-A-Way Gardens. The accident left them without water for about a day. CHP investigators say it's unclear if Bagby had a previous DUI on his record.

"The actual driver history itself does not show an actual conviction for DUI, but there is some other information that does," Rude said.

He says alcohol could be a factor, but won't know for sure until he sees the autopsy results. In the meantime, flowers sit on the doorstep of the Bagby home--where Erik leaves behind a wife and three young boys.

Bagby was last seen leaving Elmer's bar in Orcutt, but bartenders say he only had one drink an did not appear intoxicated. CHP officers say Bagby worked as a contractor. His family was unavailable for comment.


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