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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on June 26th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 16 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 16

Carbajal's arraignment is postponed until July

BY AMY ASMAN

The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office filed charges against Santa Maria resident Cristian Iban Carbajal in connection with the five-vehicle collision that claimed the life of Santa Maria High School graduate Jade Dodson on June 18. 

Carbajal appeared in court on June 20 facing one felony count of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and three counts of reckless driving—all with enhancements for great bodily injury. A Santa Barbara County Superior Court judge ultimately postponed Carbajal’s arraignment until July 10.

According to a press release from Santa Maria Police Department, the crash occurred when Carbajal failed to stop for a red light at the corner of Broadway and McCoy Lane, and his 1997 Chevy pickup collided with a Toyota Camry.

All three passengers in the Camry were transported to Cottage Hospital, where Dodson later succumbed to her injuries. The driver of the car, Robert Dodson-Carag, is still in critical condition.

Police suspect Carbajal was driving under the influence of drugs. Anyone who saw his truck just prior to the crash is urged to contact the Santa Maria Police Department.

Dodson’s family and friends decorated a streetlight on the corner of Broadway and McCoy Lane with flower bouquets, stuffed animals, and pictures. Some of them have been returning to the memorial frequently to pay their respects.

Santa Maria High School graduates Abraham Juarez and Nesllin Dineros told the Sun they’ve been coming to the memorial every day since the crash.

“She was a very fun person,” Juarez said of his classmate. “Everyone who knew her just knew that she smiled all the time and she never really had a bad day. She was a great friend.”

Dineros played with Dodson on the school’s tennis team.

“It really hurts, though, because she really touched my life. I was a quiet—well, I kind of still am a quiet person—but she would always break into my shell and talk to me,” she said. “She was always there for me. But this time I wasn’t there for her. I wanted to be there for her, I wanted to protect her, but it’s too late for that.”