NewsLocal News


Sheriff investigating traffic collision, woman's death on Painted Cave Rd.

Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office
Posted at 12:51 PM, Jul 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-29 15:53:24-04

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office is investigating a traffic collision and death that occurred on Painted Cave Road.

Sheriff's officials say deputies were called to the area of Painted Cave Road north of Highway 154 just before 10 p.m. on Saturday, July 23, for a report of a person down in the roadway.

A woman, identified as Nicole Lawson, 45, was found dead at the scene.

Deputies arrested a man, identified as Daniel Zuzinec, 37, on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs. Sheriff's officials say he experienced a medical emergency at the scene and was taken to an area hospital.

Zuzinec is currently in custody at the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office Main Jail on charges of being under the influence of a controlled substance, DUI causing injury, and vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. He also reportedly has previous pending charges.

Sheriff's officials say they are continuing to investigate and are awaiting final autopsy and toxicology results to determine Lawson's official cause of death.