EL MONTE >> The driver of a Mitsubishi Eclipse fled the scene of a crash that sent another car careening into a stopped California Highway Patrol car on the 10 Freeway in El Monte early Saturday, authorities said.
Two CHP officers were outside of their patrol car, which was parked along the right shoulder of the eastbound 10 Freeway just east of Peck Road, when the series of crashes occurred about 2 a.m., California Highway Patrol officials said.
“The CHP officers observed a rear-end traffic collision between two vehicles, just west of their location,” CHP officials said in a written statement.
“One of the vehicles traveled to the right, struck the sound wall, and traveled toward the patrol vehicle where it struck the patrol vehicle at the right rear and overturned onto its roof,” the statement said.
The second car involved in the crash, described as a dark-colored Mitsubishi Eclipse, sped away from the scene, CHP Officer Tony Polizzi said.
Two people inside the overturned vehicle, a Scion xB, suffered minor injuries and were taken to a local hospital for treatment, officials said. The CHP officers were not hurt.
Officers from the East Los Angeles office of the CHP are handling the investigation.
IRWINDALE >> A CHP patrol car and a Honda sedan collided on Irwindale Avenue on Friday afternoon, sending both drivers to the hospital.
The crash took place about 4 p.m. on Irwindale Avenue, just north of Arrow Highway, California Highway Patrol Officer Peter Bishop said.
Paramedics rushed the driver of the Honda to a trauma center by helicopter, while the injured CHP officer was taken to a hospital by ambulance, Irwindale police Sgt. Robert Avila said.
The woman in her 20s who was driving the Honda suffered injuries described as moderate, Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Irvin Williams said. The officer, who is in his 30s, suffered apparently minor injuries.
The CHP car sustained significant damage to the front end. The Honda sustained major damage to passenger side.
Authorities shut down both directions of traffic on Irwindale Avenue between Arrow Highway and Gladstone Street as they investigated the scene.
Both CHP and Irwindale police officials took part in the investigation, which was expected to be spearheaded by Irwindale police.
The crash was the second involving a law enforcement patrol car in the San Gabriel Valley Friday.
A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department patrol car sustained major damage about 11:30 a.m. after colliding with a Nissan Altima being driven by a woman on San Gabriel Boulevard in Rosemead, sheriff’s Lt. Loy McBride said.
Officials said the deputy was driving southbound on Rosemead Boulevard, just south of Garvey Avenue, with emergency lights and sirens on when the crash occurred.
The patrol car struck the Nissan and a parked car, McBride said. The woman was not hurt. The deputy was treated for injuries described as minor.
The cause of the Rosemead crash remained under investigation.
PHOTOS: TOP – By Watchara Phomicinda; BELOW – By Brian Day
BALDWIN PARK >> The California Highway Patrol is hosting a class for teen drivers and their parents this month in Baldwin Park geared toward keeping young people safe while behind the wheel, officials said.
The CHP’s “Start Smart” class will be held from 6:15 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday at the CHP’s Baldwin Park office, 14039 Francisquito Ave., CHP Officer Rodrigo Jimenez said.
The free program educated both teens ages 15 to 19 and their parents regarding safe driving. A driver’s license is not needed to take part.
The main focus of the class is to demonstrate, “how poor choices behind the wheel of a car can effect the lives of numerous people,” Jimenez said.
Also discussed will be the CHP’s mission, the responsibilities of newly-licensed drivers, the responsibilities of parents (and) guardians and collision avoidance techniques,” he said.
Due to graphic pictures and video shown during the program, every teen must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and sign waiver form before the class begins.
Seating is limited.
To sign up, contact Officer Jimenez at the CHP’s Baldwin Park office at 626-338-1164, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Throughout the San Gabriel Valley and beyond, cops have been working to brighten the holidays of needy and disadvantaged kids.
Police and California Highway Patrol Officers, as well as Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies, have been busily playing the roles of elves distributing toys, food and cheer to young people in need of some holiday spirit.
The California Highway Patrol and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department have run large-scale toy drives to collect gifts for kids who might otherwise go without this holiday season.
And sheriff’s officials even brought Santa Claus, via helicopter, to meet with kids in Compton Saturday as deputies took them on a special Target shopping trip. Sheriff’s deputies also hosted an annual party Dec. 7 for abused and neglected children.
Police officers from both the Irwindale and Covina police departments have delivered toys to the young patients at the City of Hope in Duarte this month.
Police agencies including those in Whittier and West Covina, as well as some sheriff’s stations, joined Target stores for the “Heroes & Helpers” program, in which officers take needy youths shopping for gifts, officials said.
In La Puente, deputies visited schools and churches and neighborhood to hand out about 300 bags full of groceries Friday, sheriff’s Lt. Pete Cacheiro said. And more food giveaways are planned this week.
Baldwin Park police attracted an estimated 2,000 kids to their police station Friday as they handed out more than 3,500 toys, according to the Baldwin Park Police Association. And of course, Santa Claus was on-hand as well.
PHOTOS: (top to bottom) 1.)Covina police officials deliver toys to children at the City of Hope in Duarte on Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. (Courtesy) 2.) Whittier police take children shopping at Target in Whittier as part of the “Heroes & Helpers” program on Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014. (Courtesy) 3.) Principal Mona Diaz of Workman Elementary School in La Puente stands in front of a patrol car as Sgt. John Suh unloads bags of groceries to be handed out to families to help out for the holidays on Friday, Dec. 18, 2014. (Courtesy) 4.) Children meet with Santa Claus at the Baldwin Park Police Station as the Baldwin Park Police Association handed out more than 3,500 toys. (Courtesy) 5.) Irwindale police and city officials from Irwindale and La Puente deliver donated toys to City of Hope in Duarte on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. From left to right: La Puente City Councilman David Argudo, Irwindale police Officer Shawn Cory, Irwindale police Officer Diego Cornejo, Irwindale police Detective Jose Vargas, Irwindale police Capt. Ty Henshaw and Irwindale Mayor Mark Breceda. (Courtesy) 6.) West Covina police take children shopping at Target in Whittier as part of the “Heroes & Helpers” program on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. (Courtesy)
POMONA >> The California Highway Patrol is teaming up with a popular car show in Pomona Wednesday to collect toys and gifts for local children in need.
Officials will gather toys for their annual “CHIPS for Kids” program from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. during the Prolong Twilight Cruise at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum at Fairplex in Pomona, 1101 W. McKinley Ave., Building 3A, CHP officials said in a written statement.
“Entrants are encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy or gift to donate, and CHIPS notes that there is a big need for gifts for teens,” according to the statement.
Walgreens representatives will be on-hand with $10 gifts available for those who wish to purchase one and donate it at the event.
To kick off the drive, car show sponsor Prolong Super Lubricants is donating $500 worth of toys.
The popular Prolong Twilight Cruise generally attracts more than 250 street rods, hot rods and muscle cars, organizers said.
BALDWIN PARK >> Teen drivers and their parents are invited to take part in a free interactive class hosted by the California Highway Patrol and geared to improve traffic safety for young people.
The “Smart Start” seminar will take place at 6:15 p.m. Friday at the Baldwin Park office of the CHP, 14039 Francisquito Ave, CHP officials said in a written statement.
All teens ages 15 to 19 are invited to attend with their parents. A driver’s license is not required.
The safe driving awareness class, “will illustrate how poor choices behind the wheel of a car can affect the lives of numerous people,” the statement said.
Due to graphic images and video shown during the class, all teens must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, who must sign a waiver at the beginning of the class.
Topics discussed will include responsibilities of new drivers, responsibilities of parents and collision avoidance techniques.
Seating is limited.
For more information or to reserve a space, contact Officer Rodrigo Jimenez at 626-338-1164, or email email@example.com.
WEST COVINA >> Dozens of San Gabriel Valley first responders took part in a large-scale active shooter training scenario simulating a terrorist attack on a West Covina shopping mall Sunday.
Six local law enforcement agencies, federal officials and firefighters took part in the mock terror attack at the Plaza West Covina shopping mall, which was held early in the morning, before mall business opened for the day.
“We take the safety of our visitors and our residents very seriously,” West Covina Police Chief David Faulkner said. “There have been several incidents that have happened on the east coast — one happened last week — that certainly have raised our awareness that we need to be prepared. And in my view, we need to be ready for something and hope it never happens, (rather) than to respond to something we weren’t prepared for.”
A blast from a flash-bang grenade intended to simulate a bomb detonation signalled the beginning of the intensive drill at the mall, where three West Covina police officers played the role of heavily armed gunmen bent on creating carnage. Within minutes, the sounds of simulated gunshots echoed through the mall as police engaged the mock terrorists in a gunfight.
Two of the pseudo suspects carried assault rifles, while the third carried a shotgun.
Participating first responders were not told ahead of time what they would be facing in the drill, West Covina police Cpl. Rudy Lopez explained.
“Each officer involved in this has to determine how to best handle the situation,” he said.
Police simultaneously hunted for the gunmen and rescued mock victims who wore makeup to simulate injuries. Some officers carried their standard duty sidearms, while others were armed with rifles.
Patrol officers called in a SWAT team after the attack turned into a hostage situation.
Practicing a technique known as “fast-roping,” West Covina police SWAT members slid down a rope from a hovering Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department helicopter to join in the operation.
The West Covina Police Department’s recently acquired rescue vehicle, a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle acquired from the U.S. Department of Defense, was used to evacuate victims.
After a scenario that lasted about an hour, the three suspects had been killed in shoot-outs with officers. Three civilians had also been killed during the scenario, and many more wounded.
Police officers from West Covina, Covina, Baldwin Park and Irwindale police departments were joined by California Highway Patrol officers, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials, FBI agents, West Covina firefighters and mall security officials in responding to the mock attack, Lopez said. While West Covina has hosted similar training scenarios in the past, Sunday’s training session was their biggest.
About 75 law enforcement officers participated, along with about 60 volunteers playing the part of victims or bystanders, officials said. The volunteers were primarily police Explorers from the West Covina, Glendora and Ontario police departments.
“Whether this incident happens in West Covina, or happens in Irwindale or Covina, we’re familiar with working with each others’ team,” the chief said. “We might be in different uniforms, but in the end, we’re all in one uniform when it comes time to deal with a critical incident.”
After watching the exercise unfold at the mall, West Covina City Councilman Fred Sykes said he approved.
“A place this large, it’s unfathomable for us not to look at what to do in this type of situation,” he said.
The costs and planning associated with massive drill is a wise investment, as it may help save lives down the road, Sykes said.
“This is extremely important for our community,” the councilman said.
Just like in sports, he added, “The battles are won in practice.”
ROSEMEAD >> A Los Angeles Police Department motorcycle officer suffered minor injuries in a collision with a car, which fled the scene, on the 10 Freeway Thursday afternoon, authorities said.
The crash took place at 4:43 p.m. on the eastbound Metro ExpressLanes of the 10 Freeway near Del Mar Avenue in Rosemead, California Highway Patrol Officer Alex Rubio said.
The car that struck the officer was described as a black Honda Civic or Toyota Camry, officials said. It was lowered, with custom rims, tinted windows and white lettering on the rear windshield.
The hit-and-run car was last seen exiting the 10 Freeway at Walnut Grove Avenue, just east of the crash scene, according to the CHP.
The Metro ExpressLanes of the eastbound 10 Freeway were briefly shut down following the collision, however the regular traffic lanes remained open, Rubio said.
The crash was being investigated by the East Los Angeles office of the CHP.
EAST LOS ANGELES >> A possibly suicidal person on an overpass today caused the complete shutdown of the 5 Freeway in East Los Angeles during rush hour Friday, wreaking havoc on the afternoon commute for nearly four hours, authorities said.
The individual, described only as male, was seen about 3:40 p.m. on a freeway traffic camera grasping a sign attached to the Downey Road overpass, just west of 710 Freeway transition, according to California Highway Patrol and Los Angeles Count sheriff’s officials.
Deputies were treating the situation as a possible suicide attempt, and crisis negotiators responded to speak with the man, Sgt. R. Laflin of the sheriff’s East Los Angeles Station said.
“Our crisis negotiation team has made contact with him,” the sergeant said. No details were available regarding what the man was saying to officials.
Northbound Santa Ana Freeway traffic was being diverted onto the northbound 710 Freeway and southbound vehicles were being diverted onto Dittman Avenue, according to the California Highway Patrol. The transition road from the northbound Long Beach Freeway to the northbound Santa Ana Freeway was also closed.
Traffic backed up significantly on the 5 Freeway, as well as on the 710, as officials continued dealing with the situation three hours later. An air bag was placed on the freeway below the overpass as a precaution.
The man was safely brought down from the overpass shortly before 7:30 p.m., however further details were not available, Laflin said.
The sergeant could not confirm reports that the man may have been scrawling graffiti when first encountered by officials, and it was unclear if the man was to be arrested or taken for psychological evaluation.
The Sig Alert for the 5 Freeway was cancelled about 7:30 p.m.
PHOTO courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
INDUSTRY — Two men and a woman died early Sunday after the car they were riding in went off the side of the 60 Freeway in Industry, landing in a construction site, authorities said.
The crash occurred just before 6:50 a.m. on the westbound 60 Freeway at Crossroads Parkway, California Highway Patrol Officer Monica Posada said.
A Kia Soul was traveling at an undetermined speed when it veered to the right of the road, and across the onramp and offramp for the westbound 60 Freeway, she said.
“The vehicle went off the freeway,” Posada said. “At some point, it went airborne and ended up in a construction site.”
The three occupants of the Kia were pronounced dead at the scene, officials said. They were initially described as two men and a woman in their 20s.
A Sig Alert remained in effect for several hours for the onramp and offramp to the westbound 60 Freeway as officers from the Santa Fe Springs office of the CHP conducted an investigation.
PHOTO courtesy of the CHP.