Former Vandenberg AFB airman facing new charges for deadly 2016 crash

Posted at 9:21 AM, Aug 31, 2018

Felony charges have been filed in Santa Barbara County against a former Vandenberg Air Force Base airman in connection with a deadly crash near the base two years ago.

The announcement by Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley comes less than two months after the U.S. Department of Justice announced a federal case against Shaquille Lindsey had been dismissed due to a jurisdictional issue after it was determined the Aug. 28, 2016 crash on Santa Lucia Canyon Road happened outside base property. 

The DA’s Office says the complaint filed this week charges Lindsey, of Convington, Georgia, with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving under the influence of both alcohol and drugs causing injury.

He also faces special allegations of causing great bodily injury.

The crash killed Ruben and Bertha Betancourt of Lompoc, and seriously injured their son, Juan.

Lindsey, who was 23 at the time, was accused of driving under the influence of alcohol and marijuana, using his cell phone while driving, and speeding when he drove into oncoming traffic and hit the victims’ car head-on.

The DA’s Office says after the federal case was dismissed, Dudley appointed two assistant United States attorneys as special deputy district attorneys to continue handling the matter against Lindsey as a state court prosecution. 

This reportedly marks the first time federal prosecutors have been authorized to serve in the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s Office. 

Lindsey is scheduled to be arraigned on the new charges Sept. 18 in Lompoc.