3 hospitalized after collision involving a Placentia police vehicle

PLACENTIA — A police officer responding to a house fire call Sunday ended up in a collision with another vehicle at a Placentia intersection, a sergeant said.

It happened about 11:45 a.m. in the intersection of La Jolla Street and Melrose Avenue, Placentia police Sgt. Chris Anderson said.

The officer was heading east on La Jolla Street with lights and sirens on. He came to a stop before entering the intersection and when he went through it, the officer collided with a Nissan Frontier, Anderson said.

There were five people in the Nissan, all of whom suffered minor injuries, Anderson said. Three of them were hospitalized.

The officer was not hurt, Anderson said. Both the patrol car and the Nissan were damaged.

The California Highway Patrol was handling the investigation, Anderson said.

The initial report of a house fire turned out to be smoke from a backyard barbecue.

Anyone who witnessed the crash was asked to call Placentia police at 714-993-8153, Tipsters can also call Orange County Crime Stoppers at (855) TIP-OCCS.

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7 hurt in 3-vehicle crash on 5 Freeway in South Orange County

A three-vehicle crash on the Santa Ana (5) Freeway on Sunday evening in the Capistrano Beach area injured seven people, authorities said.

The crash happened about 8 p.m. on the northbound Santa Ana Freeway, just north of Camino De Estrella, the Orange County Fire Authority and California Highway Patrol said.

pic.twitter.com/i25XelPaCL

— OCFA PIO (@OCFA_PIO) April 22, 2019

Seven patients were taken to hospitals, including five trauma patients, the fire authority said.

No further details were immediately available.

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Motorcyclist killed in collision with car on Ortega Highway near Lake Elsinore

LAKE ELSINORE — A motorcyclist was fatally injured Sunday when his vehicle crashed with a car near Lake Elsinore, the California Highway Patrol said.

The crash happened just after 3 p.m. on Ortega Highway, about 2 miles south of Grand Avenue in the Upper San Juan Campground, the CHP and Cal Fire Riverside said.

The motorcyclist died at the scene, Cal Fire Riverside said. There’s no word yet on the gender or age of rider. The rider’s name was withheld pending notification of kin.

The crash left the bike about 200 feet off the side of the highway, the CHP said.

The condition of the car driver was not immediately known.

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Fatal crash temporarily closes eastbound lanes of 91 Freeway in Anaheim

ANAHEIM — At least one person died in a two-vehicle crash on the eastbound Riverside (91) Freeway in Anaheim, authorities said Wednesday.

Officers responded about 10:10 p.m. Tuesday to witness reports that a vehicle had gone airborne and crashed into the back of a big rig near the East Street exit, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The first officers on scene reported a vehicle had rear-ended a truck, was smoking and its driver was unresponsive, the CHP said.

All lanes of traffic were stopped about 10:15 p.m. The carpool and No. 1 lane were reopened about 10:50 p.m. and all lanes of the freeway reopened about 12:15 a.m.

The name of the victim was not immediately released. The cause of the crash was under investigation.

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Head-on collision in Anaheim leaves one dead, four others hospitalized

ANAHEIM — One person was killed and four others were critically injured Sunday, March 3, in a head-on crash in Anaheim, said police.

The crash took place just before 9 p.m. on Cerritos Avenue, Anaheim Police Sgt. Daron Wyatt said. The crash shut down Cerritos Avenue between Dallas Drive and Whitegate Road for the investigation.

One man was in one vehicle and four other men were in the second vehicle, Wyatt said.

Both directions of Cerritos Avenue are closed between Dallas and Whitegate due to a fatal traffic collision. Motorists are advised to use alternate routes until further notice. pic.twitter.com/twpNfusgAj

— Anaheim PD (@AnaheimPD) March 4, 2019

All five were taken to a hospital for treatment. They were all listed in critical condition. One of the men later died at the hospital.

His name was withheld pending notification of kin.

There was no immediate word as to whether drugs and/or alcohol played a role in the crash, Wyatt said. The investigation into the crash was continuing, he said.

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4 seriously hurt in Westminster collision

WESTMINSTER — Five people were taken to hospitals Monday night after a minivan and sedan collided in a Westminster intersection.

The crash was reported at 10:22 p.m. at Westminster and Beach boulevards, Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Tony Bommarito said.

Four people suffered traumatic injuries, with two taken to OC Global Medical Center and two taken to UCI Medical Center, Bommarito said. One person with moderate injuries was taken to Huntington Beach Hospital.

The minivan had struck a tree in the center divider and was on its side when police and firefighters arrived, Westminster police Cpl. Allan Aiokie said. Firefighters had to pry open the doors to free them.

The crash was under investigation, police said.

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Community mourns loss of Long Beach church leader killed while riding his bicycle in Seal Beach

Bagpipes played “Amazing Grace” as mourners gathered Sunday, Jan. 13, in a cold, muddy lot in Seal Beach to remember a Long Beach church leader and avid bicyclist who friends said died in a traffic collision on Friday.

The hastily arranged memorial drew at least 150 people who commemorated the life of Paul Smith, 64, who was riding his bike when he was fatally struck by a vehicle near the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Seal Beach Boulevard, according to two friends who organized the event, Dave Beard and Chris Sutt.

The service took place at 4 p.m. on an unpaved sidewalk just a few feet away from where the collision happened.


Mourners gather on Sunday, Jan. 13 to commemorate the life of Paul Smith, 64, of Long Beach, a beloved church elder and avid bicyclist, at the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Seal Beach Boulevard, just a few feet away from where the man was struck by a vehicle while riding his bike and fatally injured on Friday, Jan. 11. (Photo courtesy of Chris Sutt)

Beard described Smith as a quiet, yet personable man who left a tremendous impression on his community as an elder at Parkcrest Christian Church, 3936 Woodruff Ave. in Long Beach.

“If you met Paul, within 10 minutes, he’d be your brother,” said Sutt.

He said Smith, a recently retired engineer for Bechtel Corp., had been a Parkcrest parishioner for over 30 years. The majority of the work he did for the church centered on youth groups, according to Beard, and his efforts to do good were not limited to the local community. After Hurricane Harvey struck Texas in 2017, Smith and Sutt traveled to flood-damaged areas and spent two weeks  volunteering to remove rotten wood flooring out of flood-ravaged buildings.

Smith was handy and fit up until the day he died, according to his friends. He was a passionate bicyclist who rode dozens of miles daily. He had just taken part in a 100-mile ride during Arizona’s annual El Tour de Tucson in November. Beard, a fellow cyclist, said Smith “rode fast” and was difficult to keep pace with.


Paul Smith, 64, of Long Beach, shortly after completing a 100-mile bike ride in Tucson, Ariz. in November, 2018. Smith was fatally injured after he was struck by a vehicle near the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Seal Beach Boulevard in Seal Beach on Friday, Jan. 11. (Photo courtesy of Chris Sutt)

“”All I would see was the takeoff, and he was gone,” he said.

Smith died doing what he loved, according to those who knew him, and his passing came as shock to his friends and family.

Bicyclists, parishioners and neighbors joined Smith’s wife, mother and two sons at Sunday’s memorial.

 

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Big rig hits overpass on 91 Freeway in Anaheim; several eastbound lanes closed at the 57

ANAHEIM — A big rig lost its load Wednesday night when it struck the La Palma Avenue overcrossing on the eastbound Riverside (91) Freeway in Anaheim.

The crash occurred just after 7 p.m. and prompted the closure of four lanes of the freeway, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The driver said he was transporting a 60,000-pound refrigerator that was to be delivered to a marijuana grow operation in Desert Hot Springs when he took a wrong turn and ended up on the Riverside Freeway, where he accidentally got stuck under the bridge, KCAL9 reported.

A SigAlert was issued for the Nos. 2 through 5 lanes of the eastbound Riverside Freeway at the Orange (57) Freeway for an unknown duration.

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CHP: Huntington Beach man dies after attacks on 10 Freeway ended with civilians restraining him

ROSEMEAD — A man suspected of stealing a GMC van died Monday after causing two collisions on the San Bernardino (10) Freeway in Rosemead and attempting to vandalize and carjack other vehicles on the freeway before being restrained by civilians, authorities said.

Witnesses reported seeing Ramon J. Lopez Jr., 39, of Huntington Beach driving a GMC Safari van erratically at 11:17 a.m. eastbound on the San Bernardino Freeway west of New Avenue when he struck a silver Scion xB and fled the scene, California Highway Patrol Officer G. Bembi said.

“The GMC continued driving erratically and moments later struck a black Volkswagen Jetta,” Bembi said. Lopez continued to flee eastbound.

The van then became disabled west of San Gabriel Boulevard and was blocking the express lanes, the officer said. Lopez got out with a small tire iron and began walking on the freeway, where traffic had slowed due to the disabled van, Bembi said.

Lopez approached a black BMW stopped in the No. 3 lane, jumped on the hood and began striking the car’s windshield, causing glass debris to fly inside but not injuring the driver or passenger, Bembi said. The BMW’s driver was taken to a hospital as a precaution for treatment of shock.

Lopez got off the BMW when a gray Toyota Corolla slowed to a stop in the No. 4 lane and struck a left side window, causing the glass to shatter, Bembi said. The uninjured motorist drove away.

When a Ford Explorer stopped in the express lanes, Lopez smashed his body into the left side, denting the left rear door, Bembi said.

“Mr. Lopez began cursing at the driver and passenger and grabbed the Ford Explorer’s door handles, possibly in an attempt to carjack it,” Bembi said.

With eastbound traffic at a standstill, a group of civilians tackled Lopez and struggled to keep him on the ground, Bembi said. They got off of Lopez when an ambulance arrived “and it appeared Mr. Lopez was unresponsive,” Bembi said.

The paramedics provided emergency medical aid to Lopez until San Gabriel Fire Department paramedics arrived, taking him to County-USC Medical Center where he was pronounced dead from cardiac arrest just before noon, Bembi said.

The CHP issued a SigAlert at 11:27 a.m. shutting down all eastbound traffic lanes. The two right lanes were reopened at 12:10 p.m. and the SigAlert was cancelled at 12:43 p.m., Bembi said.

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Man struck, killed by vehicle in Santa Ana

SANTA ANA — A man was struck and killed by a vehicle Monday night in Santa Ana.

Police responded about 9:30 p.m. to the intersection of First and Baker streets and located an approximately 50-year-old man who had been hit by a vehicle, according to Cmdr. R. Rodriguez of the Santa Ana Police Department.

The victim was taken to a hospital where he died from his injuries, Rodriguez said.

The driver remained at the scene and cooperated with the investigation, Rodriguez said.

It was unclear if the man was in a crosswalk at the time of the collision or if alcohol or drugs were a factor in the crash.

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