By Janene Scully,

Noozhawk North County Editor

The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office filed two charges against a Santa Ynez woman who allegedly caused a two-car collision in the Santa Ynez Valley last month while under the influence of drugs. 

Samantha Hoobyar, 31, was arrested following the May 21 crash in the 1400 block of Alamo Pintado Road, according to the California Highway Patrol.

A criminal complaint filed July 20 in Santa Maria Superior Court charged Hoobyar with a felony count of driving under the influence of drugs causing injury, and misdemeanor willful cruelty to a child. She also faced special allegations of causing great bodily injury and injuring multiple victims — a girl who reportedly was not her daughter plus a passenger in the other involved vehicle.

No further details were available, and the criminal complaint did not identify what substance Hoobyar was allegedly under the influence of at the time of the crash. 

Hoobyar pleaded not guilty and denied the allegations during an arraignment hearing on Wednesday. She was ordered back to court Aug. 19.

Emergency personnel were dispatched shortly after 3:10 p.m. May 21 for a two-vehicle crash.

CHP Officer Keith Rogers said Hoobyar was driving a GMC southbound on Alamo Pintado Road south of Adobe Canyon Road while Angelo Caciola, 69, of Ballard was driving a Alfa Romeo northbound on Alamo Pintado Road. 

Hoobyar failed to safely navigate around a right-hand curve in the road, causing the GMC vehicle to continue straight and cross over the double yellow lines into the northbound lane, Rogers said. The front right of the GMC collided into the front right of the Alfa Romeo.

The traffic collision occurred because of Hoobyar’s drug impairment and because she conducted an unsafe turning movement, Rogers said.

Hoobyar as well as an 8-year-old girl in her vehicle, and Krisanne Caciola, a passenger in the Alfa Romeo, all were transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for treatment of minor to moderate injuries, according to authorities.

The day of the crash, Hoobyar was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs causing injury, and CHP officers recommended the filing of criminal charges.

She had been released on bail and ordered back to court Wednesday. 

A delay between an arrest and the filing of charges for someone out on bail happens occasionally, often to allow for further investigation.

Hoobyar and a male friend have created GoFundMe pages seeking donations for medical expenses, and the pages blame the other driver for the crash. One, under the name Sammy Hoobyar, pleads “Help Medical Costs from Collision with my girl.” As of Wednesday, $95 in donations had been made toward the $10,000 goal.

“On my way to dropping off my girl for the weekend, a sports car collided with us on my hometown road I drive on every day,” the statement on the GoFundMe page said. “Thank God for our guardian angels we are alive.”  

A second GoFundMe page, “Help Molly for her car accident injuries,” is accompanied by a photo of a girl with a scrape above her eye and wearing a neck brace. That site, by Joseph Becerra, had raised $1,010 toward a $20,000 goal.

On the page, he writes that his girlfriend was en route to drop off his daughter and “had to swerve out of the way to avoid a head-on collision and crashed.” The collision occurred when a car was passing on Alamo Pintado and didn’t merge back in time, he claimed.

“Molly was airlifted to Cottage and had a concussion, thank God, that was the extent of it,” the page’s statement continued. “Unfortunately this is an expensive hospital fee and we ask of your kind donations. This has been the most emotional moments in our lives. Thank you very much for your donations.”

Neither page, both created two days after the crash, mentions Hoobyar’s arrest, release on bail or pending court date.

Since September 2016, Hoobyar has received eight citations involving driving-related infractions, according to Santa Barbara County Superior Court records. 

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at