Police arrest motorist after he flips car into ravine

SANTEE (KUSI) – Police arrested a 31-year-old man Sunday for felony drunken driving. The arrest came after the man drove his SUV off a steep embankment in Santee.

One passenger was critically injured and two others suffered serious injuries.

Police found the SUV, in a remote, underdeveloped area northwest of the north end of Summit Avenue, by helicopter responding about 7:23 p.m., said Sgt. Daniel T. Morsch of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.

The white Ford Explorer was occupied by four adults. It had rolled over several times and ended up in a ravine in harsh terrain, Morsch said.   

All four occupants were injured. The critically injured occupant was lifted via hoist and rushed to Sharp Memorial Hospital by a sheriff's helicopter, he said.   

The other three occupants were also airlifted because of the remote area the accident occurred. They were taken to a nearby landing zone, where they were then transported via ground ambulance to various hospitals for treatment, he said.   

The motorist, Nathan Smoltz, was subsequently arrested for felony drunken driving, Morsch said.   

The sheriff's sergeant did not disclose a place of residence for Smoltz or the extent of his injuries.

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