UPDATED: Valinda man killed in two-vehicle crash


VALINDA >> A Valinda man died and a Rowland Heights woman suffered injuries in a two-vehicle crash on Valinda Avenue late Wednesday, California Highway Patrol officials said.
The crash was reported shortly after 7 p.m. on Valinda Avenue, south of Maplegrove Street, CHP Officer Michelle Bond of the CHP’s Traffic Management Center said.
A 45-year-old Valinda man was driving a 2004 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck north along Valinda Avenue when his truck veered into opposing traffic and struck a 2009 Toyota Venza being driven by a 35-year-old Rowland Heights woman, according to Sgt. M. Hammond of the CHP’s Baldwin Park area office.
“(He) suddenly allowed the Chevrolet Silverado to cross over the solid double-yellow lines and travel into the southbound No. 1 lane,” the sergeant said.
The driver of the Toyota veered to the right but was unable to avoid a collision, she said. The front of the truck struck the driver-side of the Toyota.
Firefighters rushed the truck driver to a hospital but he succumbed to his injuries, officials said. His identity was not available.
The woman at the wheel of the Toyota suffered injuries Hammond described as minor.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Officer C. Jones at the CHP’s Baldwin Park area office at 626-338-1164.

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Motorcyclist from Azusa killed in 210 Freeway crash


AZUSA >> An Azusa man died Saturday afternoon after a pickup truck rear-ended him on the 210 Freeway, triggering a chain-reaction crash, officials said.
Enrique Alvarado-Cervantes, 26, died in the crash, which took place about 1 p.m. on the eastbound 210 Freeway, just west of Vernon Avenue, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Joshua Duran.
He was riding a 2000 Suzuki GSX-R in the fast lane when traffic ahead came to a sudden stop, the officer said in a written statement.
A 71-year-old Alta Loma man was driving directly behind the motorcycle in a 2000 Dodge Ram 2500 pickup truck. A 2000 Ford F-150 pickup truck was driving ahead of the motorcycle, lead by a 2011 Lexus IS 250.
“(The pickup truck driver) was unable to stop his Dodge in time to avoid a collision,” Duran said.
“The Dodge collided into the Suzuki motorcycle and Ford F-150 directly ahead, ejecting Alvarado-Cervantes onto the roadway,” Duran said. “The force of this collision pushed the Ford forward into the rear of the Lexus.”
Paramedics pronounced Alvarado-Cervantes dead at the scene.
The driver of the Dodge pickup that triggered the crash suffered injuries including a broken wrist, Duran said. The Ford driver suffered minor injuries, and the driver of the Lexus was unhurt.
No arrests were made as the investigation continued, officials said.
Authorities issued a Sig Alert for the carpool and three right-hand lanes of the eastbound 210 Freeway through nearly 5 p.m.
Any witnesses to the collision are encouraged to contact the CHP’s Baldwin Park area office at 626-338-1164.

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Pomona woman killed in freeway crash identified

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POMONA >> Coroner’s officials have identified a Pomona woman who died in a solo-car crash on a freeway connector road early Friday.
Chelsea Tarin, 23, died at the scene of the 6:30 a.m. crash on the transition road from the southbound 57 Freeway to the eastbound 10 Freeway, on the border between San Dimas and Pomona, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Lt. David Smith said.
POMmapShe was at the wheel of a 1993 Toyota Camry when it went of the left side of the roadway, struck a lamp post, then struck a cement support pillar beneath the 57 Freeway along the right side of the connector road, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Rodrigo Jimenez.
Paramedics pronounced Tarin dead at the scene.
An autopsy determined Tarin died as a result of “traumatic injuries,” and the death was ruled accidental, Smith said.
A fund to benefit Tarin’s family has been set up online at www.gofundme.com/2jjhcak.
Friday’s fatal crash was the second fatality reported on the same transition road in just over a week.
Juan Manuel Machuca Jr., 22, of San Bernardino died on Aug. 4 when his Ford Explorer veered off the side of the road and overturned, according to the CHP.

PHOTO by Beatriz Valenzuela

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Police, sheriff’s deputies, CHP officers host ‘Coffee with a Cop’ in La Puente


LA PUENTE >> Local sheriff’s deputies, police officers and CHP officers will be meeting with the community this week for a “Coffee with a Cop” event in La Puente, officials said.
The informal gathering will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Tuesday at Starbucks, 1283 N. Hacienda Blvd., organizers said in a written statement.
Deputies from the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Industry Station’s La Puente Special Assignment Team will chat with residents, as well as Covina police officers, West Covina police officers and California Highway Patrol officers.
There are no agendas or speeches planned, “just a chance to meet your deputies and officers,” according to the statement.
For more information, contact Deputy Viviana Marez at 626-934-3061.

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Man killed in freeway crash in San Dimas


SAN DIMAS >> A man died Thursday afternoon after losing control of his SUV and crashing on a San Dimas freeway transition road, authorities said.
The man killed in the 4:04 p.m. crash on the southbound 57 Freeway connector road to the eastbound 10 Freeway had not been identified Thursday night, Officer Hammond of the California Highway Patrol’s Baldwin Park area office said in a written statement.
He was driving a 2004 Ford Explorer “at an unsafe speed for roadway conditions” when he veered off the road at as it curved to the left, Hammond said.
“The Ford Explorer then traversed a dirt embankment on the east side of the connector road before striking a concrete jersey wall and overturning back onto the roadway,” he said.
Paramedics pronounced the driver dead at the scene.
Authorities issued a Sig Alert on the connector road through 8 p.m.. Hammond said.
Any witnesses are asked to contact Officer K. Croxford of the CHP’s Baldwin Park office at 626-338-1164.

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CHP to hold checkpoint tonight near Industry, West Covina

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INDUSTRY >> California Highway Patrol officers will be screening drivers for sobriety during a checkpoint tonight in the unincorporated county area between Industry and West Covina, officials said.
The checkpoint is scheduled to begin about 9 p.m. and continue through Saturday morning, CHP Officer Rodrigo Jimenez said in a written statement.
“The sobriety checkpoint is part of the CHP’s effort to curb drinking and driving,” Capt. Steve Urrea of the CHP’s Baldwin Park area office said. “Traffic volume permitting, all vehicles will be checked. If volume becomes too heavy, vehicles to be checked will be selected by a pre-set standard — such as every third or fifth vehicle — to assure objectivity.”
Funding for the checkpoint is being provided by a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, through the California Office of Traffic Safety.

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CHP chase turns into rescue after fiery crash in Baldwin Park


BALDWIN PARK >> A California Highway Patrol pursuit instantly turned into a rescue operation Wednesday after a fleeing stolen SUV with three people inside crashed and burst into flames in Baldwin Park, authorities said.
All three occupants of the car suffered significant injuries but were expected to survive following the crash, which took place shortly after 2:20 p.m. at Garvey Avenue and Big Dalton Avenue, CHP Officer Rodrigo Jimenez said.
Officers were chasing a stolen Toyota RAV4 when it crashed and burst into flames, he said. The same officers then pulled the driver and two passengers from the burning wreckage.
Officers were chasing a stolen Toyota RAV4 when it crashed and burst into flames,” he said.
“What these guys did was heroic,” Jimenez said.
Driver Ruben Cabrera Jr., 35, of Montebello was booked on suspicion of auto theft, felony evading of police causing great bodily injury and possession of methamphetamine. He was also already being sought for alleged parole violations.
Cabrera suffered injuries including broken ribs in the crash, Jimenez said. He was treated for his injuries before being booking into jail.
A 27-year-old woman who was riding as a rear passenger suffered a mostly-severed arm, the officer said. Surgeons had reattached the arm Thursday, however the ultimate prognosis was unclear.
A 16-year-old girl who was two to three months pregnant and riding as a front passenger in the SUV suffered injuries including a broken wrist, Jimenez said.
Officers first spotted the Toyota RAV4 speeding in the fast lane of the westbound 10 Freeway near Puente Avenue, Jimenez said. The SUV suddenly exited the freeway at Fransicquito Avenue and blew through a stop sign at Garvey and Vineland avenues.
Officers tried to pull the SUV over, but the driver sped off, initiating a chase, he said.
But the driver lost control of the vehicle as it rounded a bend where Garvey Avenue becomes Big Dalton Avenue, striking several trees and shearing a fire hydrant, Jimenez said.
The SUV’s gas tank ruptured and the RAV4 burst into flames, he said.
The pursuing officers suddenly became rescuers as they freed the three trapped occupants from the burning car, Jimenez said.
The officers pulled the driver from the SUV, he said. “That’s when they heard screaming from inside the car. The fire started growing. They saw that there was a female passenger in the right rear.”
Officer managed to pull out the rear passenger and discovered the 16-year-old passenger also trapped in the front passenger seat.
As the fire continued to grow larger, the officers cut the seat belt of the third and final occupant and freed her from the flaming wreck, Jimenez said.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Cabrera was being held without bail at the Inmate Reception Center in Los Angeles pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Friday in West Covina Superior Court.

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Mother and daughter killed in 605 Freeway crash, 2 girls critically injured

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BASSETT >> A woman and a young girl believed to be her daughter died and two more girls suffered critical injuries in a solo-car crash alongside the 605 Freeway in Bassett in early Friday, authorities said.
The fatal crash took place about 7:30 a.m. on the southbound 605 Freeway, just north of the 60 Freeway, Los Angeles County Fire Department Inspector Rich Licon said.
The identities of the victims had yet to be determined, according to Ed Winter, assistant chief of operations at the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner. Their city of residence was unclear.
Though not identified, a photograph found at the scene indicated that the four victims were a mother and her three children, California Highway Patrol Officer Gina Jojola said.
The 2005 Pontiac Grand Am was heading south when it veered off the side of the road, overturned and struck a tree, she said.
“As a result of the collision, the driver and right rear passenger sustained fatal injuries and were pronounced deceased,” CHP Officer D. Jones said in a written statement. “The two remaining passengers were transported to Los Angeles County Medical Center in critical condition.”
Cn_dT3pXgAE6lWYFirefighters had to free the two surviving girls from the wreckage.
“We had to extricate two people,” Licon said.
All four occupants of the Pontiac wore seat belts, according to the CHP.
The woman at the wheel of the Pontiac appeared to be about 30 years old, Jojola said. The girl who died in the crash was estimated to be 7 years old.
The two surviving girls were about 3 and 11 yeas old, Jojola said. They were taken to a trauma center for treatment. An update on their conditions was not available Friday afternoon.
While the investigation remained in its early stages, drugs or alcohol were not initially suspected as factors, Jones said.
“No witnesses have been found,” Jojola said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the CHP’s East Los Angeles area office at 323-980-4600.
Officials issued a Sig Alert for the right-hand lane of the southbound 605 Freeway for nearly four hours as they investigated the scene.

  • By Brian Day and Ruby Gonzales

PHOTOS by Walt Mancini

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Two young men killed in Pasadena multi-vehicle wreck

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PASADENA >> A violent five-vehicle wreck on the 210 Freeway in Pasadena initially thought to have killed one person Friday afternoon left two Northern California men dead, officials said Saturday.
Authorities initially pronounced Tristan Lee Witte, 20, of San Rafael dead at the scene immediately following the 4:50 p.m. crash on the eastbound 210 Freeway near Sierra Madre Boulevard, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Investigator Marion Sainz said. He was the driver of a 2004 Buick sedan that was mangled into an unrecognizable mass of metal after being crushed between two trucks, officials said.
But firefighters continued working to access what had been the passenger compartment of the Buick, ultimately discovering the body of a passenger several hours later, Pasadena Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said.
Palmer described the passenger as a 20-year-old Novato man. Coroner’s officials were yet to identify the passenger Saturday, Sainz said.
The chain-reaction collision was initiated when a 2007 Nissan box truck collided with 2012 Jeep Cherokee in the carpool lane, Officer T. Palmer of the California Highway Patrol’s Altadena area office said in a written statement.
“The Jeep was pushed into a red Buick, driven by (Witte),” Palmer said. “The box truck continued in an easterly direction, where it collided with a Chevy GMC (pickup truck).”
“This impact caused the Buick to fold in half, causing fatal injuries to the driver and passenger,” Palmer said.
The Chevy pickup rolled onto its side in the fast lane and was broad-sided by a 2015 Hyundai sedan, he said.
The four drivers of the involved vehicles other than the Buick were treated for minor injuries, officials said. All had been treated at local hospitals and released by Saturday morning.
“At this time, DUI is not a factor in this collision,” Palmer said.
The crash briefly prompted the closure of all eastbound lanes of the 210 Freeway. A Sig Alert remained in affect for some lanes through nearly 11 p.m., causing a backup for miles.
The cause of the deadly crash remained under investigation.
Any witnesses can reach the CHP’s Altadena area office at 626-296-8100.

PHOTO courtesy of the Pasadena Fire Department.

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UPDATED: Fatal crash reported on 210 Freeway in Pasadena

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PASADENA >> One person died and two others suffered injuries in a multi-car crash that shut down the eastbound 210 Freeway in Pasadena Friday afternoon, officials said.
The crash, which involved at least five vehicles, was first reported at 4:57 p.m. on the eastbound 210 Freeway, just west of Sierra Madre Boulevard, according to California Highway Patrol and Pasadena Fire Department officials.
One person was pronounced dead at the scene, CHP Officer Jennifer Bond said. No description was available.
The vehicle in which the person was traveling was “crushed” an unrecognizable, Pasadena Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said.
Two other victims were treated for minor injuries suffered in the crash, she said.
Another couple of people were treated by paramedics for issues such as heat exhaustion and chest pain while stuck in traffic behind the crash scene, Derderian added.
Authorities initially shut down all eastbound lanes of the freeway to allow ambulances to access the scene, Bond said.
“(Eastbound) traffic was shut down completely for probably half approximately half and hour,”Derderian said.
Officials gradually reopened lanes through the afternoon, causing a major backup during the rush-hour commute.
Traffic on the Metro Gold Line tracks was reduced to one track as officials inspected the track closest to the crash for damage or debris. Buses were used to help passenger travel between the Lake and Sierra Madre Villa Gold Line Stations, according to Metro.
The crash was being investigated by the CHP’s Altadena area office. Anyone with information can reach the office at 626-296-8100.

PHOTO courtesy of L.A. Metro

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