A 17-month search for a mysterious witness to a high-speed crash that left a $1 million Ferrari Enzo in pieces in Malibu has ended with...

LOS ANGELES — A 17-month search for a mysterious witness to a high-speed crash that left a $1 million Ferrari Enzo in pieces in Malibu has ended with the arrest of a Marina del Rey man.

Trevor Michael Karney, 26, was in custody on misdemeanor charges of drunken driving, resisting arrest and giving false information to a police officer, along with a possible federal immigration violation, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.

Authorities said Karney is apparently the fictitious “Dietrich” who fled after the Feb. 21, 2006, crash that left the Ferrari — one of only 400 built — strewn in pieces over 1,200 feet of Pacific Coast Highway.

Investigators said he apparently hid in Ireland before sneaking back into the United States through Mexico.

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Sheriff’s deputies estimated the Ferrari was going 120 mph when it slammed into a power pole and split in half. The driver escaped with a bloody nose.

Initially, driver Bo Stefan Eriksson, a Swedish businessman, told investigators that a German he knew only as Dietrich had been driving. He ran up a hill toward a canyon road and disappeared after the crash, Eriksson said.

Eriksson, 45, was sentenced in November to 3 ½ years in a California prison after pleading guilty to embezzlement and drunken-driving charges. He will be deported after serving his sentence.

Karney, who was encountered at the scene of the crash, told deputies he had been traveling through Malibu in a Mercedes at the time and also saw “Dietrich” fleeing.

Authorities used a helicopter and a search-and-rescue team but never found any sign of such a man.

Turns out he was Karney, deputies now say, and he was riding in the Ferrari with Eriksson, not driving it.

“They’re thinking that ‘Dietrich’ is him,” Deputy Oscar Butao said Friday. The investigation concluded that Karney was using a video camera to photograph Eriksson driving at speeds of up to 162 mph.

Sheriff’s officials said Karney was arrested Wednesday at a Marina del Rey apartment complex.

He is scheduled to appear Monday in a Malibu courtroom. He was being held on $60,000 bail.

Material from The Seattle Times archive is included in this report.