Two men were airlifted to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital on Tuesday night following a head-on collision after one of them hit a deer on Highway 154 near Armour Ranch Road in Santa Ynez. 

At about 5:34 p.m., Santa Barbara County Fire, along with California Highway Patrol, a CALSTAR helicopter and another helicopter from the County Fire air support unit out of Santa Ynez responded to the scene.

Upon arrival, they found two cars involved in the crash. According to County Fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni, one vehicle reportedly struck a deer that was crossing the road, then swerved and hit the other vehicle head-on. 

There was just one driver in each vehicle, both males, estimated to be in their 30s to early 40s, said Zaniboni. Both patients were complaining of major injuries, and firefighters took a long time to extricate both patients out of each vehicle. 

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One patient was transported by Calstar, and another was taken by the Air Support Unit helicopter to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, Zaniboni said. 

The California Highway Patrol is investigating the incident. 

Gina Kim covers crime and courts for Santa Maria Times. Follow her on Twitter @gina_k210

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