UPDATED: 5 Freeway shut down in East Los Angeles due to possible jumper


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

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Three killed in 60 Freeway crash in Industry


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.

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CHP to hold sobriety checkpoint near Industry

California Highway Patrol officials are planning a sobriety checkpoint Saturday night in an unincorporated county area near Industry, officials have announced.
The checkpoint will begin about 9 p.m. Saturday at an undisclosed location in the unincorporated county area near Industry, CHP officials said in a written statement.
Traffic volume permitting, all drivers that pass through the checkpoint will be checked by officers for sobriety, the statement said. If traffic volume becomes too heavy, officers will screen vehicle based on a pre-selected standard — such as every third vehicle or every 5th vehicle — to ensure objectivity.
Funding for Saturday’s checkpoint is being provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Fatal crash forces freeway closures at 5, 710 interchange


A Dodge Magnum slammed into temporary supports holding up an in-progress overpass at the 5 and 710 freeways in Commerce early Saturday, killing the driver, injuring his passenger and forcing a closure of the northbound 5 Freeway that was expected to remain in effect throughout the day, authorities said.
All but one lane of the northbound 710 Freeway was also closed following the fatal solo-car crash took place at 2:02 a.m. on the northbound 5 Freeway, just south of the 710 Freeway, California Highway Patrol Officer Rommel Deguzman said in a written statement.
Jose Antonio Garcia, 34, of Compton died in the crash, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. David Smith said.
His passenger, a 23-year-old Los Angeles man, was hospitalized with moderate injuries, Deguzman said.
The 2007 Dodge Magnum was traveling at an unknown speed approaching an ongoing construction project to expand the 710 Freeway over-crossing, according to the officer.
“For reasons currently under investigation, the driver left the roadway and proceeded through the raised gore point of the I-5 northbound to the I-710 northbound transition road. As a result, the vehicle collided with the temporary construction framing of the 710 over-crossing expansion project,” Deguzman said. “As a result of the impact, a combination of wood and metal framing material collapsed onto the vehicle, rendering it disabled.”
Paramedics pronounced the driver dead at the scene.
Northbound lanes of the 5 Freeway were shut down at Atlantic Boulevard as Caltrans contractors repaired the damage, along with the transition road connecting the southbound 710 Freeway to the southbound 5 Freeway, according to the CHP. All lanes of the northbound 710 Freeway were reopened about 4 p.m.
The closure was expected to remain in effect until at least 9 p.m.
Countless cars backed up for miles behind the closure Saturday afternoon.
Some drivers turned off their engines to save gasoline or prevent overheating as they sat for long periods without moving.
Alexis Sereg, 18, said she and her friends had spent about three hours on the northbound 5 Freeway en route to Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia and had moved “a couple miles.”
The traffic jam came at a particularly inopportune time for Farshad Kasiri, 18, of Anaheim and his family, who spend nearly three hours stuck in the gridlock as they tried to make their way to Downtown Los Angeles.
The Muslim holy month of Ramadan began Saturday, during which practicing Muslims traditionally refrain from eating or drinking during daylight hours.
“We’re Muslim. We’re fasting. It’s really hot right now. We cant drink or eat anything,” Kasiri said with a smile.

PHOTO courtesy of Caltrans

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UPDATED: Truck spills gravel onto 210 Freeway in Arcadia

ARCADIA — A gravel truck spilled its cargo on the 210 Freeway in Arcadia Wednesday, snarling afternoon traffic for hours, officials said.
The mishap occurred just after 3 p.m. on the westbound 210 Freeway, just east of Santa Anita Avenue, California Highway Patrol Officer Patrick Kimball said.
A truck spilled it’s load of tiny rocks into the roadway, initially blocking all lanes and damaging more than half-a-dozen other vehicles on the roadway, Kimball said. No injuries were reported.
Only the carpool and left lane of the freeway had been opened as of 4:45 p.m., he said.
A Sig Alert remained in effect on the freeway until all lanes were cleared shortly before 6 p.m., according to CHP logs.

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Compton man killed in Downey motorcycle crash

DOWNEY >> A 29-year-old Compton man died early Saturday in a motorcycle crash on the Bellflower Boulevard onramp to the 105 Freeway, authorities said.
The name of the rider was not released pending notification of family members, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner officials said.
The crash took place about 2:55 a.m., CHP Officer Peter Bishop said. The rider exited the eastbound 105 Freeway at Bellflower Boulevard on a Yamaha motorcycle just prior to the crash, CHP Officer Peter Bishop said. His speed had not been determined.
“For an unknown reason, he continued straight through the intersection,” Bishop said.
The motorcycle traveled toward the Bellflower Boulevard onramp to the eastbound 105 Freeway, striking a raised concrete curb on the south side of the ramp. The collision through the rider from his motorcycle, and he struck a light pole.
Downey Fire Department paramedics pronounced the man dead at the scene at 3:03 a.m.

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Irvine man killed in crash on 210 Freeway in La Verne

LA VERNE — An Irvine man died and another man suffered major injuries after their car was struck by a dump truck while stopped along the side of the 210 Freeway in La Verne early Wednesday, authorities said.
Gregory Ashe, 34, died at the scene of the 3:15 a.m. crash on the eastbound 210 Freeway at Fruit Street, according to California Highway Patrol and Los Angeles County coroner’s officials.
A second man who accompanied him was hospitalized with major injuries, CHP Officer Rodrigo Jimenez.
It was not initially clear which man had been driving the Lexus ES 300, or why it was stopped along the shoulder, Jimenez said.
A dump truck approached the Lexus traveling at an unknown speed in the right-hand lane, the officer said. The truck veered off the roadway and struck the rear of the Lexus, Jimenez said.
“It was a hard collision,” he said.
Ashe was pronounced dead at the scene. The second man was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center for treatment.
The cause of the crash remained under investigation, however no citations or arrests were made at the scene, Jimenez said.
Officials issued a Sig Alert for all eastbound lanes of the eastbound Freeway near Fruit Street, as well as the westbound carpool lane, through 8 a.m.
Officers from the Baldwin Park office of the CHP are handling the investigation.

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Santa Monica man killed in Angeles National Forest motorcycle crash

A 64-year-old Santa Monica man died over the weekend following a motorcycle crash on a winding road in the Angeles National Forest north of La Canada Flintridge, officials said.
The fatal collision took place about 12:30 p.m. Saturday on Angeles Forest Highway at Upper Big Tujunga Canyon Road, California Highway Officer Monique Mischeaux said in a written statement.
Michael Gottlieb, who was wearing a helmet, was southbound on a 2012 Ducati motorcycle when the crash occurred, Mischeaux said. He was riding behind a 2003 Toyota being driven by ba 24-year-old Baldwin Park man.
“(The motorcycle) crossed into opposing traffic in an attempt to pass (the Toyota),” Mischeaux said. The Toyota simultaneously made a left turn onto Upper Big Tujunga Canyon Road, and the vehicles collided.
Gottlieb was thrown from the motorcycle, officials said.
As a result of the collision, (Gottlieb) received severe head trauma and a broken neck, and succumbed to his injuries,” Mischeaux said. He was pronounced dead by paramedics just under 45 minutes after the crash.
The crash was under investigation by officers from the Antelope Valley office of the CHP.

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UPDATED — Officials: Girls abducted by father at gunpoint in Pomona, found safe in Riverside County

***UPDATE: California Highway Patrol officials deactivated the Amber Alert early Saturday morning after both children were found safe in Riverside County. Further details of the exactly where and how the girls were found were not immediately available. Los Angeles County booking records indicated Adame was arrested at 1:38 a.m. He was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail at the Pomona Police Department’s jail and was scheduled to appear for an arraignment Wednesday in Pomona Superior Court.
POMONA — Officials issued an Amber Alert late Friday after a man abducted his two young daughters at gunpoint, officials said.
Pete Valencia Adame, 43, kidnapped his ex-girlfriend along with their two daughters, ages 2 and 4, about 7 p.m. in Pomona, California Highway Patrol officials said in a written statement.
“Adame assaulted the former girlfriend before releasing her at an unknown location,” according to the statement. “Adame then fled with the two daughters.”
The potentially armed and dangerous suspect was believed to be driving a gray 2014 Jeep Patriot with California license plate No. 7CJF267, officials said. He was described as Latino, 5 feet 11 inches tall, 180 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a white undershirt and light blue pants with a stripe.
2014 Jeep PatriotThe missing 2-year-old, Valarie Persaea Adame, was described as Latina about 2 feet tall, 30 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a white shirt with flowers on the shoulders and black pants.
The abducted 4-year-old, Aurora Akira Adame, was described as Latina, about 2 feet 6 inches tall and 35 pounds. She was last seen wearing a pink shirt with a heart design and cheetah print spandex pants.
Anyone with information was urged to contact the Pomona Police Department, or call 9-1-1.
PHOTO of kidnapping suspect Pete Adame courtesy of the Pomona Police Department.
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UPDATED: Two found dead inside car over the side of Glendora Ridge Road in the Angeles National Forest

ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> Two bodies were discovered Sunday inside of a car that had tumbled nearly 800 feet over the side of Glendora Ridge Road, deep in the Angeles National Forest north of the San Gabriel Valley, authorities said.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department search and rescue team members located the car about 11:15 a.m. over the side of Glendora Ridge Road, just west of Mt. Baldy Village, California Highway Patrol Officer Francisco Villalobos said. Two bodies were found inside, however no descriptions of the dead were available.
Sheriff’s officials had been searching the area since shortly after 8 a.m. after receiving a report through the U.S. Forest Service that a vehicle had gone over the side of the road, sheriff’s Sgt. Alex Vargas said.
Officials from the Los Angeles County Department responded to the scene to take custody of the bodies, coroner’s Lt. Larry Dietz said. They were yet to be identified.
The crash was first reported to U.S. Forest Service officials, who notified Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials, who in-turn notified the CHP once search and rescue team members found the wreckage.
No further details were immediately available. The crash was being investigated by officers from the Baldwin Park office of the CHP.
A similar crash involving a Scion XB occurred on the same stretch of road last year, killing a young man who was driving and seriously injuring a young woman who was riding as a passenger, sheriff’s Lt. Andy Berg said at the time.
That crash took place about 12:30 a.m Aug. 16, when the car left the roadway and tumbled about 600 feet down the hillside before bursting into flames.
Tyler Scheurenbrand, 18, whose city of residence was not listed in coroner’s records, died at the scene from “thermal burns and probable blunt force trauma,” Dietz said. The death was ruled an accident.

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