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Driver facing murder charge following fatal DUI crash in Santa Barbara

A head on crash was reported in Santa Barbara
Posted at 6:03 PM, Nov 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-18 01:22:16-05

The driver in a fatal DUI crash in Santa Barbara Sunday is facing a murder charge.

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley filed a felony complaint Wednesday against Jose Fermin Lopez, 24, of Santa Barbara.

This comes after a fatal head-on crash in Santa Barbara Sunday on Carrillo Street near Miramonte Drive.

The crash resulted in the death of 71-year-old Steven Carlson. Lopez was the driver and only occupant of a 2009 Nissan Altima when he reportedly swerved out of his lane and into oncoming traffic striking Carlson's 1992 Mercedes-Benz.

Lopez is charged with the following felony counts: one count of murder one count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, one count of driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury, and one count of driving with a .08% or higher blood alcohol content causing injury. Additionally, it is further alleged that Mr. Lopez personally inflicted great bodily injury.

Lopez was arraigned Wednesday from the hospital, where he is recovering from the injuries he sustained in the collision. He did not enter a plea, and the arraignment was continued until November 22. His bail is set at $2,000,000.