CHP chase from Atascadero to SLO ends in crash

March 8, 2023


A driver allegedly under the influence of drugs led California Highway Patrol officers from Atascadero to San Luis Obispo Tuesday afternoon, culminating with a crash and the suspect’s arrest. 

Shortly before 3 p.m., multiple 911 callers reported a reckless driver in a white Infinity sedan on southbound Highway 101 in the Paso Robles area. The driver was swerving all over the highway with the right front tire of the car deflated and the vehicle traveling on a rim, according to the CHP.

CHP officers located the car on southbound Highway 101 at San Anselmo Road in Atascadero and attempted to stop the car, but the driver continued driving recklessly and a chase ensued.

Officers pursed the driver, later identified as Luciano Lopez of Watsonville, over the Cuesta Grade. Authorities deployed a spike strip near the bottom of the grade on the San Luis Obispo side.

The spike strip slowed Lopez’s vehicle. Officers then forcibly stopped Lopez’s car on southbound Highway 101 near Broad Street in SLO, according to the CHP.

KSBY reports, prior to being stopped, Lopez crashed into a guardrail near the California Boulevard off-ramp and then collided with another car near the Osos Street off-ramp. 

Lopez appeared unresponsive in the immediate aftermath of the chase. Medics attended to him at the scene. 

Officers arrested Lopez for felony evading and driving under the influence of a drug. Investigators reportedly took a female passenger into custody, though the CHP did not state in a press release whether officers arrested anyone other than Lopez.

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Real life is not a Hollywood movie. Running from the police is low I.Q. folly. Its not a question of IF the police will catch you. Its a question of WHEN the the police will catch you.

DUI driver probably imagined he was in a Hollywood car chase movie.