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News Update

UC Santa Barbara chancellor denies involvement during hit-and-run investigation

UC Santa Barbara Chancellor Henry T. Yang was the subject of a California Highway Patrol investigation into a hit-and-run that took place in a campus crosswalk and left a student with minor injuries. Citing a lack of evidence, the CHP did not recommend charges.

The CHP redacted Yang’s name from its report on the hit-and-run, but the Los Angeles Times confirmed the chancellor was the target of the investigation. Yang refused to speak with CHP during their investigation, but through his counsel, he denied ever hitting anyone with his car.

University of California Santa Barbara student Madden Cade Westland, 19, identified the chancellor as the driver and Yang’s wife as a passenger in a car that hit him while he was skateboarding through a crosswalk on May 16. Westland said he motioned to him after he fell to the ground and stood up, but the car did not stop.

CHP investigators stated in their report that they were unable to find any scuffs, dents or other physical evidence of a collision when they investigated two cars parked in Yang’s driveway. Yang’s wife stated that the chancellor had been driving to different events the day of the incident. When investigators told her that she was named as the passenger, she declined to answer any more questions.

“This was not a hit-and-run,” the university said in a statement to the Times. “The Chancellor and his wife were surprised to learn of the allegations and they have always maintained that their vehicle did not collide with anyone.”

Yang, 81, has served as chancellor since 1994, making him the second-longest serving chancellor in UC history.