November 2008 Archives

November 29, 2008

Pregnant Woman Killed in Sepulveda Pass Head-On Collision

Los Angeles police officials have identified a pregnant woman who was killed in a November 26, 2008 traffic accident on the Sepulveda Pass as 20-year-old Mirsa Carrillo of Reseda. Carrillo and her fetus were killed in the fatal 11/26/08 head-on collision.
Three children and four adults suffered minor injuries in the accident. Carrillo was transported to a local hospital, but doctors were unable to save Carrillo or her fetus. Our source for this blog is this news report in the Los Angeles Daily News.

No further details have been released about this horrific accident and no one has been cited or arrested pending a police investigation.

My heart goes out to the family of Mirsa Carrillo. It is horrible to lose a family member and even more heartbreaking to lose a much-expected, unborn member of the family. Please keep this family in your prayers. I'm glad that no one else suffered catastrophic injuries in this auto accident, which could have been a lot worse.

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November 28, 2008

Study Shows More Repeat Drunk Drivers Behind the Wheel on Nation’s Roadways

A new study released by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (www.madd.org) shows that an estimated 2 million repeat DUI offenders will share our roadways this holiday season. About 400,000 of those have five or more convictions. MADD’s numbers are based on data reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) by 20 states and the District of Columbia. Our source for this blog was this news report in the Fresno Bee.

MADD also released its annual state progress report, which shows that California leads the list of 23 states for the highest number of repeat DUI offenders behind the wheel. California apparently has 310,971 three-time offenders and about 44,000 five-time offenders, according to MADD’s research.

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November 28, 2008

Lompoc Chevy Suburban Rollover Accident Injures Five

A family of five including two adults, two children and one infant, were injured in a Chevy Suburban rollover accident on the northbound Highway 135 near Orcutt, California on November 22, 2008. According to an article in the Lompoc Record, the injured victims, whose names were not released, were taken to an area hospital and treated for non life threatening injuries.

California Highway Patrol officials said the driver of the vehicle swerved to avoid an object in one of the lanes, lost control then overcorrected, causing the SUV to rollover.

It is indeed a great relief that none of the occupants of the Suburban were killed in this SUV rollover accident. A majority of General Motors Company SUV rollover accidents involve roof collapse or crushing and this causes severe head or spinal cord injuries to its occupants. Other injuries that occur in auto defect cases such as this can also be the result of seat belt failures. The family in this 11/22/08 rollover incident would be well-advised to consult with a nationally renowned product defect law firm that is truly experienced in handling GMC SUV litigation.

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November 27, 2008

Big Rig Spills Boulders on Napa Highway Injuring Three

Three people were injured after a big rig overturned on the Highway 121 in Napa on November 21, 2008 leaving boulders strewn across the highway. According to this CBS News report, the Peterbilt truck overturned on a 40 mph curve on the southbound side of Highway 121 at Duhig Road. California Highway Patrol officials said the truck spilled its load of rocks and boulders onto the path of three oncoming vehicles whose drivers tried to take evasive action, but were not successful.

Two people who were in a Porsche Carrera suffered major injuries in this 11/21/08 accident, although they were not life-threatening. The roof of the Porsche had to be cut to extricate the vehicle’s occupants. The occupant of a Toyota Camry suffered moderate to major injuries after his car spun into a guardrail and caught fire. The driver of the big rig and the driver of a Mitsubishi Montero, which was also involved in the accident, were uninjured. CHP officials said the big rig slid to its side as it dumped boulders at least 2 feet in diameter along the highway.

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November 26, 2008

Teenager Killed in Fullerton Bicycle Accident

Daniel Torres, a 17-year-old Buena Park High School student, was killed in a Fullerton bicycle accident after he was struck by two vehicles the evening of November 24, 2008.
According to this news report in The Orange County Register, Daniel rode out of an alley into northbound traffic on Magnolia Avenue near Orangethorpe Avenue with his 13-year-old brother and a friend.

Fullerton police officials say Daniel’s brother was able to make it out to Magnolia safely and made a wide right-hand turn to get back on to the curb. Daniel made it back on to the street, but as he did so, was clipped by a Toyota sedan that was traveling north in the left lane. He was thrown off his bicycle and was almost immediately hit by a Chevy Trailblazer, which was also traveling in the left lane. Police said Daniel was not wearing a helmet and died at the scene from severe head injuries. The drivers of the Toyota and the Trailblazer have not been cited or arrested pending an investigation.

My heart goes out to the family of the Daniel Torres, especially his younger brother, who saw Daniel get struck and killed on that Fullerton Street. Daniel’s family will be in my prayers and I offer my deepest condolences for their tragic and untimely loss.

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November 25, 2008

Long Beach Man Killed in Beaumont Freeway Crash

Braulio Alaniz Marin, 34, of Long Beach, was killed in a Beaumont rear-end collision on November 21, 2008. Marin was a passenger in the sedan which was struck on the eastbound 60 Freeway just west of Jack Rabbit Trail. Marin was pronounced dead at the scene. California Highway Patrol officials are investigating this 11/21/08 fatal crash. Our source for this blog was this news report in the San Bernardino Sun.

I offer my deepest condolences to the family of Braulio Alaniz Marin for their heartbreaking loss. They will certainly be in my prayers.

Rear-end collisions are the most common type of auto accidents in the United States. About 2.5 million out of 6.3 million auto accidents are rear-end collisions. These accidents commonly occur at low speeds, but sometimes the consequences can be deadly, especially if vehicles are traveling at freeway speeds.

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November 24, 2008

San Bernardino Rollover Crash Kills Woman

Monica Breann Tumbleson, 26, was killed in a San Bernardino rollover accident on November 19, 2008 after she apparently lost control of her 1993 Ford F-150 pickup truck. The accident occurred at the northern end of E Street where it curves and becomes Kendall Drive. Tumbleson was ejected from the vehicle and transported to an area hospital where she died. Our source for this blog is a Riverside Press-Enterprise news report.

I offer my deepest condolences to the family of young Monica Breann Tumbleson who was tragically killed in this rollover crash. Please keep her family in your prayers.

According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), each year, rollover accidents account for approximately 25 percent of all auto accident fatalities in the United States. A majority of these fatal rollovers involve sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks.

In this fatal 11/19/08 rollover crash, the newspaper report does not say how fast Tumbleson was driving or whether she was wearing her seat belt. If I were a member of Tumbleson’s family, I would definitely want to know whether Tumbleson was wearing her seatbelt and if so, why she was ejected from the vehicle and killed.

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November 22, 2008

Man Killed in Westminster Motorcycle Accident

A 29-year-old man killed in a Westminster motorcycle accident on November 19, 2008 has been identified as Huan Vo of Fountain Valley. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, Vo was traveling east on Edinger Avenue near Magnolia Street when an 87-year-old woman in a silver Toyota Camry made a left turn in front of him into a shopping center.

Vo was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. The woman did not suffer any apparent injuries, but people who saw the 11/19/08 motorcycle crash say she appeared to be "shaken up." This article received a number of reader comments and many readers agree that the woman made an illegal left turn crossing over solid double yellow lines on Edinger.

I feel terrible for the family and friends of young Huan Vo who have obviously suffered a tremendous loss. My heart goes out to everyone who knew and loved Huan Vo.

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November 21, 2008

Livermore Auto Accident Kills Boy, Injures Four

Jonathan Manzo, only 10 years old, was killed in an auto accident in Livermore on November 15, 2008. Manzo, his 55-year-old mother and two siblings ages 12 and 15 were traveling in the family’s 1997 Mercury minivan on Vallecitos Road when the accident happened. The accident occurred when a 17-year-old male driver attempting to overtake another vehicle, lost control of his 2006 Toyota Corolla and collided with the oncoming minivan. Our source for this blog is this news report.

My heart goes out to the family of Jonathan Manzo, who are not only grieving with the untimely loss of this child, but also caring for the mother and two other children who have been hospitalized with injuries. Please keep this family in your prayers.

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November 20, 2008

Apple Valley Auto Accident Kills Two

Two women were killed in an Apple Valley auto accident on November 17, 2008. They have been identified as Benedita Rodarte, 47, and 73-year-old Katherine Walton, both residents of Oro Grande. According to a news report in the Riverside Press-Enterprise, the 11/17/08 fatal crash occurred after the driver of a pickup truck turned left in front of the women’s 1997 Ford Escort. The accident occurred at the intersection of Highway 18 and Rancherias Road in Apple Valley.

Rodarte was heading west on Highway 18 and had just entered the intersection when the 2002 GMC pickup turned in front of them, according to the San Bernardino Coroner’s report. Both women were taken to an area hospital where they died shortly after the crash.

I offer my deepest condolences to the families of Benedita Rodarte and Katherine Walton, who were killed in this tragic crash. They will certainly be in my prayers.

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November 19, 2008

Man Killed in San Clemente Pedestrian Accident

Ramon Lopez, 74, died in a San Clemente pedestrian accident after he was struck by a motorist while walking his dog on November 17, 2008, The Orange County Register reports. Lopez, a local resident, was hit at the intersection of Avenida Pico and Boca de la Playa. Orange County Sheriff’s Department officials have identified the driver of the car that hit Lopez as 37-year-old Andrew Lee of San Clemente. Lee has not yet been charged pending a police investigation.

My heart goes out to the family of Ramon Lopez for their tragic loss. Please keep them in your prayers.

According to California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System (SWITRS), in 2006, there was one pedestrian accident fatality in San Clemente and 12 pedestrian injury accidents. During the same period in all of Orange County, there were 45 pedestrian-involved fatalities and 802 injuries reported.

If I were a family member of Ramon Lopez, I’d be very interested to know more about this 11/17/08 Orange County pedestrian accident. Was Ramon Lopez walking in a crosswalk at the time of the collision? Did Lee have the green light or the right-of-way as he was passing through the intersection? Was Lee under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs at the time of the fatal pedestrian accident?

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November 18, 2008

Huntington Beach DUI Auto Accident Kills Man

A 20-year-old man died in a Huntington Beach auto accident on November 15, 2008, which police say was caused by a suspected drunk driver. According to an article in The Orange County Register, the victim, who the Orange County Coroner has not yet identified, was stopped at a red light on Goldenwest Street at Edinger Avenue in his Ford Mustang. Moments later, a white Honda Accord heading north on Goldenwest Street slammed into the Mustang, which then caught on fire and was fully engulfed before its driver could be rescued.

The driver of the Honda, 21-year-old Kenneth John McNair of La Mirada, then sideswiped another car stopped at the light before slamming into a 2006 Peterbilt semi tractor trailer. The occupants of the two other vehicles struck by McNair were uninjured. McNair has been arrested and is facing charges of felony driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter. If you have more information about this 11/15/08 fatal Huntington Beach crash, please call city police at 714-536-5670.

I offer my deepest condolences to the family of this young man who was tragically killed because of someone else’s negligence and irresponsible behavior. My heart goes out to everybody who knew and loved this young accident victim.

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November 18, 2008

Orange County Traffic Collision Kills Elderly Woman

An 86-year-old Seal Beach woman, who died in an auto accident on November 13, 2008, has been identified as Dorothy Avery. The woman was broadsided by a man who ran a red light as she was turning into the Leisure World retirement community. Avery apparently had the green light and was turning left from Seal Beach Boulevard onto Golden Rain Road in her 1997 Ford Taurus when she was hit by a 23-year-old man driving a 1994 Acura Legend. Our source for this blog is this news report in The Orange County Register.

The driver of the Acura, who has not yet been identified, was not arrested pending further investigation, Seal Beach police officers said. Police also say they don’t believe that the driver of the Acura was under the influence of alcohol or drugs and that there are no indications that the driver was distracted or talking on the cell phone at the time of the crash. Avery was pronounced dead at a local hospital a few hours after the traffic collision.

My heart goes out to the family of Dorothy Avery who was tragically killed in this horrific accident. They will be in my prayers.

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November 17, 2008

Phelan SUV Rollover Accident Kills Woman

Jennifer Miller, 20, of Phelan, died of injuries she suffered in an SUV rollover accident on November 13, 2008 near Victorville, according to this news Web site. Miller was a passenger in a 1994 Isuzu Rodeo that was traveling east on Duncan Road near Lubec Road when its driver lost control of the sport utility vehicle. The Isuzu Rodeo rolled over and Miller was ejected from the vehicle. Fire officials said three other people were also injured in this rollover crash, but the extent of their injuries is not known.

I offer my deepest condolences to the family of Jennifer Miller, the young woman who tragically lost her life in this horrific crash. I wish the injured victims the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2005, there were a total of 43,443 traffic accident fatalities in the United States. Out of this number 10,816 deaths were caused by rollovers. The number of people dying or suffering catastrophic injuries in rollover crashes continues to increase each year.

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November 16, 2008

Family Files Suit Against Monterey County for Hazardous Roadway

The family of Anthony Nicholas Narigi is suing Monterey County for alleged design flaws on South Boundary Road. Narigi, a 21-year-old Salinas man, was killed in a rollover accident on July 22, 2007 outside Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The suit also alleges that the 2002 GMC Yukon Denali in which Narigi was a passenger, had design flaws and that it was modified before it was purchased. Our source for this blog is a news report in the Salinas Herald.

Narigi was killed in the 7/22/07 rollover crash when he and his 18-year-old brother Dominick John Paul Narigi were driving from the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix races at Laguna Seca. The younger brother suffered serious injuries in the accident. Although California Highway Patrol officials initially said alcohol played a role, prosecutors later said there was no evidence to show that Dominick Narigi was drinking or intoxicated. The lawsuit alleges Dominick suffered permanent physical and emotional injuries as a result of road design and vehicle suspension defects.

The road where Narigi was driving was a recently paved roadway with inadequate signs, according to court documents. The lawsuit also states that the SUV’s lifted suspension was held in place by leather straps, which broke and threw the vehicle on its side. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and the Monterey County Board of Supervisors denied a claim for $6 million from Dominick Narigi and his parents, Roxane and John Narigi.

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November 14, 2008

Man Injured In Vacaville Motorcycle Accident

A 37-year-old man who suffered major injuries in a Vacaville motorcycle accident on November 9, 2008 has been identified as Henry Eaton. The 11/9/08 crash occurred when Eaton was headed north on Peabody Road between Beelard Drive and Marshall Road on his 2007 Harley-Davidson. 79-year-old Alfatoon Edalat, who was driving his 1986 Volvo south on Peabody Road, attempted a U-turn across double yellow lines directly in front of Eaton, causing the collision, Vacaville police officials said. Our source for this blog was this news article in The Reporter. Henry Eaton was listed in critical but stable condition, but is said to have suffered major head and other injuries.

My heart goes out to Henry Eaton who has been severely injured because of another driver’s negligence. Eaton very possibly has a long road to recovery given his severe head injuries. I sincerely hope and pray that he recovers quickly and completely.

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November 13, 2008

Man Killed In Tarzana Hit-and-Run Pedestrian Accident

Police in Tarzana are looking for a hit-and-run driver who they say struck and killed 55-year-old Charles Ernest Lawson when he was crossing a city street on November 10, 2008. According to a news report in the Los Angeles Daily News, Lawson was crossing Oxnard Street near Donna Avenue when he was hit by a mid-sized car traveling eastbound. Lawson was pronounced dead at the scene of the 11/10/08 crash.

People who witnessed the horrific incident apparently saw the hit-and-run driver “stopping momentarily” before driving away. The hit-and-run suspect is described as a “man of Middle Eastern descent about 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighed 200 pounds with brown hair balding on top.” The man is also said to have been wearing glasses and a brown or khaki flannel jacket at the time of the crash. If you have any information about this driver, please call LAPD Officer Scott DeWitt at 818-644-8027.

My heart goes out to the members of Charles Ernest Lawson’s family, who have suffered a tragic loss. They will certainly be in my prayers. I sincerely hope this hit-and-run driver is apprehended, brought to justice and held responsible for this despicable act of negligence and his utter disregard for a fellow human being.

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November 12, 2008

San Diego County Truck Accident Kills Woman

Jekaterina Ferguson, 25, of Pacific Beach, was killed after a tow-truck driver ran a red light and collided with her car on November 6, 2008 in Sorrento Valley, San Diego. According to an article in the San Diego Union-Tribune, the tow truck driver was northbound on Camino Santa Fe when he ran a red light at Trade Street and struck Ferguson’s Hyundai sedan. Both drivers were taken to the hospital with injuries. Ferguson was pronounced dead at the hospital. Police officials did not release the name of the tow truck driver.

I offer my deepest condolences to the family of Jekaterina Ferguson for their sudden and tragic loss.

Based on the newspaper report, it appears that the driver of the tow truck was at fault in this 11/6/08 fatal auto accident. He apparently drove right through a red light and crashed into Ferguson’s Hyundai. Running a red light is, of course, a violation of the California Vehicle Code. There are various Vehicle Code sections, part of the “Rules of the Road,” which address motorists’ behavior at intersections and making turns at intersections, especially those controlled by traffic signals.

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November 11, 2008

Victorville Motorcycle versus Auto Accident Leaves Two Dead

David M. Orosco, 21, of Hesperia was killed in a Victorville motorcycle accident on November 8, 2008 after a driver turned left in front of him, according to this news report. Orosco was headed south on Hughes Road on a 2003 Honda motorcycle when the driver of a 2007 Chevy Impala turned left on Hughes from Hesperia Road. Carolyn Manson, 56, of Oro Grande, who was a passenger in the Impala also died in the 11/8/08 crash.

My heart goes out to the families of David Orosco and Carolyn Manson. Please keep these families in your prayers.

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November 11, 2008

Redlands Pedestrian versus Auto Accident Kills Woman

Marie Moran, 61, was killed in a Redlands pedestrian accident on November 7, 2008 after she was struck by a pickup truck at a street intersection. According to this news Web site, Moran was crossing Orange Street at Colton Avenue when a 28-year-old man driving a Toyota Tundra hit her as he turned north onto Orange Street. Moran was pronounced dead at an area hospital. The driver of the Tundra has not been arrested or cited pending an investigation of this 11/7/08 pedestrian accident.

I offer my condolences to the family of Marie Moran for their tragic loss. Please keep them in your prayers.

According to readers who commented on another news Web site, Marie Moran walked to work and back everyday and always used crosswalks. At the time of this accident, it appears that Moran was using a crosswalk. But this commenter says that that intersection and that particular crosswalk has always been a dangerous one. The commenter also says the city needs to install flashing lights on this crosswalk and/or turn signals at this intersection to prevent such tragedies in the future.

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November 10, 2008

Kern County DUI Auto Accident Severely Injures Two

Jehu Marroquin, 22 and Jonathan Gomez Cruz, 18, suffered major injuries in an auto accident caused by a suspected drunk driver in Taft near Bakersfield on November 2, 2008. According to a news report in the Bakersfield Californian, 20-year-old Anselmo Morales was driving on Ash Street near Polk Street when his vehicle drifted to the left of the road and struck Marroquin’s vehicle. California Highway Patrol officials say Morales was “heavily intoxicated.” Both Marroquin and his passenger, Jonathan Cruz, suffered major injuries.

According to California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System (SWITRS), out of three fatal traffic collisions that occurred in the City of Taft in 2006, one was alcohol-related. In Kern County, out of 169 fatal auto accidents during the same time, 63 were alcohol-related. Also, out of 3,890 injury collisions in Kern County, 486 involved alcohol.

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November 9, 2008

Head-On Collision on Highway 99 Injures Three

A Reno couple – Herold Bond, 63 and his wife Janis Bond, 59 – suffered injuries in a head-on collision on November 3, 2008 on Highway 99 in Marysville, the Chico Enterprise Record reported. California Highway Patrol officials say the injury crash occurred because 40-year-old Carolyn Atkins, who was driving north on the highway, failed to notice that a traffic signal on Riego Road had turned red.

Atkins’ 1988 Ford Ranger then entered the intersection of Riego and Highway 99 and collided with the Bond’s 1988 Jeep Cherokee. Atkins vehicle hit the rear passenger door on the driver’s side. Janis Bond suffered major injuries – several broken ribs and internal injuries. Herold Bond, Carol Atkins and her husband, John Atkins, suffered moderate injuries in this 11/3/08 crash. Corey Bond, 33, a second passenger in the Jeep, was uninjured. All were wearing seatbelts, CHP officials said.

I’m extremely relieved that everyone involved in this crash has survived. Head-on collisions have the potential to cause the most serious injuries and of course, fatalities. In this case, I believe that lives were saved because everyone was wearing seatbelts. I wish the injured victims the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.

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November 7, 2008

Mira Loma Motorcycle Accident Injures Man

Stacey Curtis, whose husband Mike Curtis, was severely injured in a Mira Loma hit-and-run motorcycle accident on October 18, 2008, has approached body shops, Craigslist.org and even BMW dealers in an effort to find out who ran down her husband. According to an article in the Riverside Press-Enterprise, Mike Curtis was riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycle down Limonite Avenue in Mira Loma when he was hit from behind and thrown off his motorcycle. He was hospitalized with a broken pelvic bone.

Eyewitnesses told police officials that the hit-and-run driver was in a dark blue or black colored BMW 330. The hit-and-run vehicle reportedly has front-end damage and would likely be brought to a BMW dealership or a body shop to be fixed.

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November 6, 2008

Thousand Oaks Bicycle Accident Kills Teacher

Ventura County Sheriff’s Department officials have recently identified the driver who they say struck and killed Thousand Oaks school teacher, 42-year-old Michael Maki in a October 10, 2008 bicycle accident. According to a news report in the Ventura County Star, 21-year-old Ashley Stone of Thousand Oaks was driving east on Hillcrest Drive near Eric Place in Thousand Oaks when her car veered to the right and struck Maki.

A popular math teacher at Westlake High School, Maki was thrown from his bicycle and hit the back of a pickup truck parked on the side of the road. A coroner’s report stated that Maki died from blood clots caused by blunt-force injury. Stone has not yet been cited or charged pending an investigation, police officials said.

My heart goes out to the family of Michael Maki as well as his students at Westlake High School. This is no doubt a tremendous tragedy for the entire community.

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November 5, 2008

Hit-and-Run Driver Injures Ventura County Man

Christopher Dodds, 48, of Ventura was hospitalized with serious injuries on November 2, 2008 after he was struck by a hit-and-run driver in Ventura, the Ventura County Star reports. Dodds was walking north across Thompson Boulevard toward a Smart & Final store when a vehicle traveling eastbound on Thompson struck him, Ventura police officials said. The hit-and-run driver then drove away without checking on Dodds.

Dodds is said to be in stable condition in an area hospital. Police are now looking for the hit-and-run driver involved in this 11/2/08 Ventura pedestrian accident. The suspect vehicle is described as a dark blue Honda sedan with damage on the driver's side. Anyone with information about this accident is asked to call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Anyone who gives information that leads to an arrest could receive up to a $1,000 reward.

My heart goes out to Christopher Dodds and I wish him the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.

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November 5, 2008

Hesperia Bicycle Accident Leaves One Dead

A 57-year-old bicyclist, who was struck and killed by a Chevy Suburban the evening of November 2, 2008, has been identified as Miguel Garcia of Hesperia. The fatal San Bernardino County bicycle accident occurred while Miguel Garcia was crossing Main Street east of I Street in Hesperia, according to a news report in the Riverside Press-Enterprise.

According to another news report in the Victorville Daily Press, Garcia was traveling eastbound in the number one lane between I Street and Peach Avenue when he was hit by the Suburban, which was also traveling eastbound. Initial accident reports state that the driver of the Suburban was “not speeding or driving erratically.” Garcia was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the Suburban has not been arrested or cited pending an investigation.

According to California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System (SWITRS), there was one bicycle accident fatality in the City of Hesperia in 2006 and five bicycle accident related injuries. In San Bernardino County as a whole, 11 deaths and 270 injuries were reported as a result of bicycle accidents during the same period.

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November 4, 2008

San Diego County DUI Traffic Collision Kills Woman

Gwendolyn Wheeler, a 49-year-old woman, was struck and killed on November 1, 2008 when a pickup truck crashed into a taxi that had stopped in front of Wheeler. According to a news report in the San Diego Union-Tribune, Wheeler was selling flowers on Lake Jennings Park Road in the East County area near Interstate 8 when she was fatally struck down. Officials say the pickup driver was driving under the influence of prescription medication.

Wheeler was apparently talking to a taxi driver who had pulled over on the shoulder of the road when a pickup truck driver rear-ended the cab, which in turn, struck Wheeler.
California Highway Patrol officials said eyewitnesses saw the pickup truck heading west on Old Highway 80 at Lake Jennings Park Road. The driver of the pickup then made a right turn onto North Lake Jennings Park Road driving across the lanes into the shoulder.
Witnesses then saw the pickup veer back on the roadway before crashing into the right rear of the taxi, CHP officials said. Wheeler was transported to an area hospital where she passed away. The driver of the taxi also suffered major injuries in this 11/1/08 accident.

My heart goes out to the family and friends of Gwendolyn Wheeler, who was clearly in the wrong place at the wrong time. Wheeler, a longtime flower-seller at that location, apparently had loyal customers and a great attitude to life. I offer my deepest condolences to everyone who knew and loved Gwendolyn Wheeler.

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November 3, 2008

Thousand Oaks Pedestrian Accident Kills Woman

A Moorpark woman who died in an October 24, 2008 pedestrian versus SUV accident in Thousand Oaks has been identified as 65-year-old Margaret Figueroa. According to a news report in the Ventura County Star, Figueroa was walking out of a parking structure at the Janss Marketplace in Thousand Oaks when she was struck. The sport utility vehicle was driven by 43-year-old Suzette Quance of Thousand Oaks.

Thousand Oaks police officials said Quance was making a left turn out of the parking structure when she hit Figueroa. The impact caused her to fall and hit her head on the asphalt. Figueroa suffered major injuries in this 10/24/08 accident and died a few days later at Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center. An autopsy report from the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office apparently showed Figueroa died from blunt-force trauma injuries to the head. Quance has not been charged or cited pending an investigation.

My heart goes out to the family of Margaret Figueroa for their tragic loss. They will definitely be in my prayers.

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November 1, 2008

Rosedale Motorcycle Accident Seriously Injures Man

Kenneth Elmore, 41, of Bakersfield, suffered major injuries in a Rosedale motorcycle accident on October 30, 2008 after another motorist turned in front of him. According to this news report in the Bakersfield Californian, 22-year-old Jesus Solano was driving a 1985 Porsche northbound on Fruitvale Avenue when he made a left turn onto westbound Downing Avenue. He struck Elmore, who was riding his 2002 Suzuki southbound on Fruitvale. Elmore braked, but his motorcycle hit Solano’s car, ejecting him from the motorcycle and over the car. California Highway Patrol officials said Elmore was taken to an area hospital in critical condition after the 10/30/08 crash, while Solano was uninjured.

It is indeed a relief that Elmore has survived this horrific motorcycle accident. I wish him the very best for a quick and complete recovery.

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