Angels Pitcher Nick Adenhart, Two Others, Killed in Orange County Car Crash
Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart, 22, was one of three people killed in a Fullerton car accident, which was caused by a driver who ran a red light. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the accident occurred the morning of April 9, 2009 at the street intersection of East Orangethorpe Avenue and South Lemon Street just past midnight when a minivan driven by 22-year-old Andrew Thomas Gallo, ran a red light and slammed into a gray Mitsubishi that Adenhart was in. The Mitsubishi then crashed into a light pole. Two of the occupants of the Mitsubishi died at the scene while Adenhart died a few hours later at the UCI Medical Center in Orange. A fourth occupant is said to be in critical condition. Other than Adenhart, none of the other victims have been identified.
Gallo, the driver of the minivan who ran the red light and caused the fatal car accident, fled the scene. But he was later arrested and charged with felony hit-and-run. One of the van’s passengers, Raymond Alexander Rivera, was taken to an area hospital with minor injuries.
My heart goes out to everybody who knew, loved and admired young Nick Adenhart – a promising player who had just earned a spot in the starting rotation and pitched for the Angels the night before his death. Apparently, Adenhart got this break after he impressed manager Mike Scioscia late in spring training. What a tragedy for his family, friends and Angels fans! A beautiful, young life was cut short because of a negligent driver who ran a red light. Heartbreaking! Please keep Adenhart’s family and friends in your prayers. My profound sympathies are also with the families and friends of the other victims of this tragic car collision. Such incidents are constant reminders that life is ever precious and no one is immune from these tragedies.
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2007 auto accident statistics, there were five car fatalities and 739 injuries involving car accidents in Fullerton, California. In all of Orange County, in 2007, 178 deaths and 14,185 injuries were reported as a result of traffic accidents. In Orange County, 75 car accident fatalities were alcohol-related in 2007.
In this case, it seems to me that the driver of the minivan, Gallo, was driving recklessly and negligently to say the least. I trust officials are looking into whether he was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. There is no question that he must be held civilly and criminally responsible for his actions. Gallo broke several California laws here. He ran a red light and he fled the scene of a fatal car crash accident.
California Vehicle Code section 21453 (a) states: “A driver facing a steady circular red signal alone shall stop at a marked limit line, but if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then before entering the intersection, and shall remain stopped until an indication to proceed is shown.”
Also, California Vehicle Code section 20001 (a) states: “The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to a person, other than himself or herself, or in the death of a person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident.” Hit-and-run is also a crime under California Penal Code Section 192.
Adenhart’s family has suffered an irreparable loss – they have lost a beloved family member. But they have also lost a tremendous athlete with enormous earning potential. Two other families have lost loved ones as well. How can anyone ever put a price on such a loss?
We will continue to provide more updates and legal analysis pertaining to this breaking news story as more information becomes available.