Driver killed when car strikes boulder on Ortega Highway

A driver was killed Thursday night, Nov. 28, when the motorist’s vehicle struck a boulder on Ortega Highway, the California Highway Patrol said.

The crash on the mountain road between Lake Elsinore and San Juan Capistrano — also known as Highway 74 — was reported about 8:40 p.m. A witness told the CHP that a white sedan hit a boulder just east of the waterfalls. The sole occupant of the vehicle died at the scene, according to Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department.

The CHP estimated that the boulder weighed 500 pounds.

The highway was closed in both directions until the CHP opened one lane just after 10 p.m.

No other information on the crash or driver was immediately available.

Fatality Traffic Collision: RPT @ 9:05 p.m. 32000 blk Ortega Hwy in El Cariso. Single vehicle with one victim. The victim perished at the scene. CHP investigating. 2 ENG, AMR, CHP

— CAL FIRE Riverside (@CALFIRERRU) November 29, 2019

Read more about Driver killed when car strikes boulder on Ortega Highway This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

Powered by WPeMatico

Santa Ana Police motorcycle officer seriously injured in collision with patrol car

SANTA ANA — A Santa Ana Police Department motorcycle officer and a sergeant in a patrol car collided Sunday night and both men were taken to hospitals, authorities said.

The crash was reported at 9:42 p.m. in the 1300 block of West McFadden Avenue, Santa Ana police Corporal Anthony Bertagna said.

Paramedics took the motorcycle officer to a hospital with serious injuries but stable vital signs, Bertagna said.

The sergeant was taken to a hospital to be checked out for a complaint of pain, he said.

Bertagna said he did not know why the crash occurred, that it is under investigation.

It was not immediately known whether either was responding to a possible emergency with lights and siren.

Read more about Santa Ana Police motorcycle officer seriously injured in collision with patrol car This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

Powered by WPeMatico

Two killed in crash on 405 Freeway in Irvine

Two people died in a collision on the 405 Freeway in Irvine on Tuesday, Oct. 29.

Paramedics responded at 9:52 p.m. to the crash reported in northbound lanes near Irvine Center Drive, Orange County Fire Authority spokeswoman Colleen Windsor said. Coroner’s officials were summoned to the scene about 13 minutes later, incident logs from the California Highway Patrol show.

The identities of the two people killed in the collision were not immediately released.

Officials did not immediately discus the events leading up to the crash. However, preliminary information from the CHP log suggested that a vehicle with two occupants struck a sign and somehow came to rest on top of the center divider of the freeway.

Read more about Two killed in crash on 405 Freeway in Irvine This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

Powered by WPeMatico

Lake Forest man convicted of second-degree murder in wrong-way DUI crash on 5 Freeway

SANTA ANA — A twice-convicted drunken driver was convicted Monday of second-degree murder and other charges for a high-speed, wrong-way DUI crash on the Santa Ana (5) Freeway that killed a man and seriously injured his passenger.


Ivan Gonzalez (Courtesy of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office)

Jurors deliberated for about an hour before convicting Ivan Gonzalez of Lake Forest of second-degree murder, driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury and driving under the influence with a blood-alcohol level exceeding the legal limit of .08%. The panel also found true sentencing enhancements for inflicting great bodily injury.

Gonzalez was charged with murder instead of manslaughter because state law allows for enhanced charges when a defendant has been previously convicted of drunken driving. Gonzalez pleaded guilty June 30, 2016, and Feb. 27, 2017, to driving under the influence.

Gonzalez, who is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 3, faces up to 18 years to life in prison.

The crash happened just after 2 a.m. on Jan. 5, 2018, on the “flyover” connector from the Santa Ana (5) Freeway to the Costa Mesa (55) Freeway, said Senior Deputy District Attorney Brian Orue.

The collision killed 33-year-old Michael Johnston Jr. of Brea and seriously injured his passenger, Amber Rickman, who suffered multiple fractures to her face and jaw, and a broken leg.

Three hours after the crash, the defendant’s blood-alcohol level was measured at .20 to .21% — almost three times the legal limit of .08, according to Orue.

A “black box” computer in Gonzalez’s Toyota Camry showed his car was going 99.52 mph about one second before the crash, and slowed to 74.64 at 0.1 seconds before the collision, the prosecutor said.

The defendant’s southbound Camry slammed into Johnston’s 2000 Ford Mustang head-on in the northbound HOV lane as police officers were frantically attempting to catch up to Gonzalez and stop him, Orue said.

California Highway Patrol Officer Bryan Gonzalez was the first to spot the defendant’s wrong-way vehicle at Gene Autry Way on the 5 Freeway, and two other officers gave chase when they heard his dispatches over the police radio, Orue said.

Gonzalez got on the southbound side of the freeway to try to catch up to the southbound defendant in the northbound lanes, Orue said.

“That’s where the nightmare starts,” Orue said, telling jurors that the officer “gets up to speeds of 100 mph” and still couldn’t catch up with the defendant.

Video from the officers’ squad cars was shown to jurors.

Gonzalez had been drinking from about 10:15 p.m. to 12:15 a.m. at the Round 1 bowling alley at MainPlace Mall in Santa Ana prior to the crash, Orue said.

“When this occurred, he was signed up for an alcohol class,” the prosecutor said, adding the defendant had just met with an alcohol counselor.

Gonzalez’s attorney, J.R. Thomas, argued that the evidence in the case was “circumstantial,” as he implored them to keep an open mind.

“Mr. Gonzalez has made mistakes, no doubt about it,” Thomas said, but argued it was “not a case of murder.”

Thomas contended that his client was “unconscious leading up to and at the point of the collision,” so could not have formed a state of mind with “malice aforethought,” which is one of the necessary legal elements of a murder charge.

Read more about Lake Forest man convicted of second-degree murder in wrong-way DUI crash on 5 Freeway This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

Powered by WPeMatico

Pedestrian in Anaheim sent to hospital in critical condition after crash

A man was transported to the hospital in critical condition on Wednesday night after he was hit by a vehicle near Anaheim Regional Medical Center.

The Anaheim Police Department said the crash happened just before 9 p.m. in the area of La Palma Avenue and Lido Street. After the crash, the driver stayed at the scene and cooperated with police.

La Palma Avenue was closed in both directions so police could investigate. Officials said the road was expected to remain closed for several hours.

The man transported to the hospital is believed to be in his twenties.

Drugs and alcohol are not suspected to be a factor in the crash, police said.

Read more about Pedestrian in Anaheim sent to hospital in critical condition after crash This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

Powered by WPeMatico

Collision in Santa Ana intersection kills a car passenger

SANTA ANA — Two cars collided in a Santa Ana intersection on Saturday, killing a passenger, authorities said.

The crash, which killed a man in a front passenger seat of one of the cars, was reported at 10:50 a.m. in the intersection of Newhope Street and Westminster Boulevard, Santa Ana police said.

Statements and video surveillance indicated the driver of a purple 2013 Hyundai Sonata was southbound on Newhope Street in the left lane when his car was struck in the rear by a black 2014 Toyota Camry that was making a left turn, police said. The Hyundai driver lost control of the car and crashed into a large street light at the southwest corner.

The Hyundai sustained major damage on the passenger side and the man in the front passenger seat was pronounced dead at the scene from major upper body injuries, police said.

The man driving the car suffered bruises to his face and jaw and was taken by Orange County Fire Authority paramedics to a hospital for treatment.

Two women in the back seat suffered major internal injuries and were taken to hospitals, where one was listed in critical condition, police said.

The man driving the Toyota reported no injuries and remained at the scene. The left front of his car was moderately damaged, police said.

Neither alcohol nor drugs appeared to be factors in the crash, police said.

Powered by WPeMatico

Man killed in Santa Ana left-turn crash

SANTA ANA — A man died Saturday trying to make a left turn in a Santa Ana intersection when his car was struck by an SUV whose driver tried to avoid the crash, authorities said.

The fatal collision was reported at 9:58 a.m. at north Susan Street and Westminster Boulevard, Santa Ana police said.

Video surveillance showed the driver of a silver 2004 Honda Civic stopped on Susan Street, facing north on Westminster Boulevard, then slowly entering the intersection to make a left turn when the car completely stopped in the number 2 lane, police said.

A woman in a burgundy 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee was driving safely in the number 2 lane on Westminster and tried to avoid the collision by veering right, but she struck the driver’s side of the Honda, police said. Both vehicles came to a stop in the southeast corner of the intersection.

Orange County Fire Authority firefighters found the Honda driver unresponsive, trapped in the driver’s seat when they arrived and used the “Jaws of Life” to free him, police said. He had suffered major upper body injuries and was taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange, where he was pronounced dead.

His name and age were not immediately made available.

The driver of the SUV and two young children exited their vehicle but suffered minor injuries to their heads and arms and were taken to Garden Grove Hospital, police said.

Neither alcohol nor drugs appeared to be a factor in the crash, police said.

Anyone with relevant information was asked to call Santa Ana traffic Investigator N. Quinones at 714-245-8284.

Read more about Man killed in Santa Ana left-turn crash This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

Powered by WPeMatico

Woman critically injured in Santa Ana hit-and-run collision

SANTA ANA — A woman was critically injured Sunday night in a hit-and-run crash on a Santa Ana street.

The crash occurred about 8:30 p.m. as the woman was crossing Fairview Street between 17th Street and Trask Avenue, Santa Ana police Sgt. O. Sanchez said.

The woman was rushed to a hospital in critical condition but with stable vital signs, Sanchez said.

There was no description of the suspect vehicle, he said.

Read more about Woman critically injured in Santa Ana hit-and-run collision This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

Powered by WPeMatico

Woman killed in alleged Long Beach DUI crash identified as a Cypress resident

LONG BEACH – The coroner’s office released the name of a young woman on Wednesday, Aug. 21, after she was killed Sunday in a two-vehicle crash in Long Beach while riding with an allegedly impaired driver, who was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving and vehicular manslaughter.

Marilyn Araiza, 21, of Cypress, died at a hospital a short time after the pre-dawn crash.

She was a passenger in a 1999 Lincoln Town Car driven by Osvaldo Ramirez-Vazquez, who was allegedly speeding eastbound on Pacific Coast Highway when he lost control of the vehicle approaching Grand Avenue around 2:40 a.m. The Lincoln rotated to the left and broadsided the passenger door of a 2014 Cadillac XTS, police said.

  • Investigators suspect DUI in a collision that left one woman dead in Long Beach early Sunday, Aug. 18. (Photo by Chris Villanueva, Contributing Photographer)

  • Investigators suspect DUI in a collision that left one woman dead in Long Beach early Sunday, Aug. 18. (Photo by Chris Villanueva, Contributing Photographer)

  • Sound
    The gallery will resume inseconds
of

Expand

Araiza was trapped inside the Lincoln and was extricated from the wreckage by firefighters. They also had to free the driver of the Cadillac from his vehicle, police said. A 49-year-old Garden Grove resident was taken to an area hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

Ramirez-Vazquez escaped the crash with minor injuries, police said.

“Based on both driver’s and witness statements … Ramirez-Vazquez was operating a motor vehicle at a high rate of speed, while under the influence of alcohol, when he lost control striking the Cadillac that was driving in the opposite direction,” according to a Long Beach police statement.

Ramirez-Vazquez, 21, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a single count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, along with an allegation of causing great bodily injury or death. He is due back in court next week.

Long Beach police asked anyone who witnessed the crash to call them at 562-570-5520.

Read more about Woman killed in alleged Long Beach DUI crash identified as a Cypress resident This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

Powered by WPeMatico

Vehicle hits construction equipment in Anaheim; worker knocked into 15-foot-deep hole and is rescued

ANAHEIM — A construction worker was rescued from a 15-foot-deep hole he was knocked into when a vehicle crashed into construction equipment in Anaheim, authorities said.

The crash occurred at the intersection of Ball Road and State College Boulevard about 10:30 p.m. Monday when the vehicle hit the equipment, including a backhoe, sending the worker into the hole, according to Sgt. Lou Correa of the Anaheim Police Department.

Anaheim Domino Type Accident sends pedestrian into 15 foot hole! Car crashes into construction equipment at the intersection of Ball rd & State College then equipment pushed a worker into the open hole at the site He was reduced taken to hospital. @KCBSKCALDesk pic.twitter.com/tjoA27MVti

— stu mundel (@Stu_Mundel) July 30, 2019

The victim was rescued by Anaheim Fire & Rescue crews and taken to a hospital, where he was reported responsive and not seriously hurt, Correa said.

The driver was detained and the cause of the crash was under investigation, Correa said.

CBS2 reported the driver attempted to leave the scene, but was quickly taken into custody.

Read more about Vehicle hits construction equipment in Anaheim; worker knocked into 15-foot-deep hole and is rescued This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

Powered by WPeMatico