Car crash prompts scrutiny of Santa Barbara chief

October 8, 2015

10380761_686502634748333_474356636212906700_nSanta Barbara Police Chief Cam Sanchez survived a serious car accident on Highway 101, but the crash has raised questions about the chief’s use of public resources. [KEYT]

Last Friday morning, Sanchez was driving a city-owned SUV to Los Angeles International Airport to pick up the chief’s daughter. Sanchez’s wife and son-in-law were also in the vehicle.

Just after 6 a.m. as the chief was driving south bound between Santa Barbara and Ventura, a large wheel, suspected to have come from a semi-truck, flew through the windshield of the SUV. The wheel smashed the windshield and the top of the vehicle, and it caused the occupants of the SUV to suffer serious cuts and bruises.

Sanchez’s wife was non-responsive immediately following the crash, the chief said. His son-in-law was bleeding profusely from his neck. Sanchez said he suffered a concussion, and at the time, they thought the injuries were life threatening.

An ambulance transported each of them to Cottage Hospital.

Following the crash, the Santa Barbara Police Department sent an on-duty officer to pick up Sanchez’s daughter from LAX and bring her to Cottage Hospital. The officer took a plain car, Sanchez said.

Sanchez said he is hurt people would be so insensitive to the situation to claim he received special treatment.

The chief is on leave this week as he recovers.



  1. 2much says:

    Your right Mod, Going to pick up your kid at the airport should be considered an emergency ( turn on the lights and sirens) and of course you should take the family because they need to be there for this life threatening situation… at the airport. If you believe this is OK for a public official to do then you are part of the problem too. Now who’s the asshole?

    (7) 9 Total Votes - 8 up - 1 down
  2. fishing village says:

    !The problem is they don’t see the problem.

    (11) 13 Total Votes - 12 up - 1 down
  3. 2much says:

    Too bad for me, I work in the private sector and would get fired if I took my Company car ANYWHERE not business related. Guess I should get one of these Government jobs where anything goes. Does the City’s insurance pay for the injuries?

    (26) 32 Total Votes - 29 up - 3 down
    • NorCoMod says:

      No, you should quit working for the insensitive asshole that wouldn’t allow you to use a work vehicle in a family emergency such as this. Get a grip.
      There’s plenty of government malfeasance to complain about, quit grasping at straws such as this.

      (-15) 27 Total Votes - 6 up - 21 down
  4. dogeatdog says:

    I don’t think the cities car insurance should have to pay for his wife and son in law. They should not have been in the car IMO.

    county vehicles are not insured to cover family and friends. Why could he not take his own car?

    I don’t have a problem with an officer picking up his daughter, that is minor when they think he had life threatening injuries.

    (1) 5 Total Votes - 3 up - 2 down
  5. aft50s says:

    Since sending an on duty officer to pick up his kid is not considered “special treatment”, do I call the PD’s regular business number to arrange the pick-up of my mother-in-law at LAX when she flys in for Christmas this year?

    (58) 70 Total Votes - 64 up - 6 down
  6. isoslo says:

    Just another entitled government employee!

    (45) 75 Total Votes - 60 up - 15 down
  7. womanwhohasbeenthere says:

    It sounds like he is taking a page from the former SLO Police Chief who used public money for dinners for his family and various junkets.

    (54) 72 Total Votes - 63 up - 9 down

Comments are closed.