PASADENA — A 39-year-old Pasadena man is accused of being drunk when crashed an SUV on the 134 Freeway, critically injuring a passenger, before fleeing the scene on foot with two young children, authorities said.
Jeremy Millan Drew was booked on suspicion of felony drunken driving following the 11:10 p.m. crash on the eastbound 134 Freeway, just east of San Rafael Avenue, according to Los Angeles County booking records and California Highway Patrol officials.
He was driving a 1992 Chevrolet Suburban at an unknown speed with three passengers prior to the crash, Officer J. Protzman of the CHP’s Altadena office said in a written statement. The passengers were another 39-year-old Pasadena man, a 12-year-old Pasadena girl and a 3-year-old Pasadena boy.
Drew lost control of the SUV, allowing it to drift to the right side of the road and collide with an unoccupied, disabled van parked along the shoulder, Protzman said.
The adult passenger suffered major injuries and became trapped inside the SUV, he said.
Firefighters cut open the SUV to free the man from the mangled wreckage, Pasadena Fire Department officials said. He was hospitalized in critical condition.
But Drew exited the crashed SUV, according to the CHP.
“(Drew) took the children and fled the scene of the collision prior to law enforcement arrival,” Protzman said.
CHP officers found him and the children at Orange Grove Boulevard and Live Oaks Avenue, just under a mile away from the crash scene, officials said.
Drew was treated for minor to moderate injuries prior to booking, Protzman said. The two children were treated for minor injuries.
Investigating officers determined Drew was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash and arrested him on suspicion of felony drunken driving, officials said.
The relationship between the four occupants of the SUV was not clear Sunday.
According to booking records, Drew was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending his initial court appearance.
LA VERNE — A 25-year-old La Verne man is accused of drunken driving after crashing his car in a constuction zone on the 210 Freeway, injuring two California Highway Patrol officers, authorities said.
Thomas Lapatka was treated for minor injuries and booked on suspicion of felony drunken driving at the sheriff’s San Dimas Station following the crash, CHP Sgt. Chris Hamilton said.
Two CHP officers suffered minor injuries, and their patrol car was significantly damaged in the collision, which took place just before 1 a.m. on the westbound 210 Freeway at Foothill Boulevard, the sergeant said.
They were assisting workers with a construction closure in which all lanes of westbound traffic were being gradually directed to the carpool lane by cones and sign boards, Hamilton said.
They were stopped within the closure, with the patrol car’s overhead lights activated, he said.
“According to witness statements, they see him fly by through the cones and pass them,” Hamilton said. “Their statements put him well over the 65 mph speed limit. Some witnesses put him at over 80 mph.”
Lapatka’s 2010 Mercedes E350 struck an electronic board that was displaying an arrow, ushering traffic toward the carpool lane, the sergeant said. The sign board then struck the patrol car, causing significant damage and injuring the two officers inside.
Officials at first were uncertain of the extent of the officers’ injuries, and they were taken to a hospital for treatment, Hamilton said.
“Thank goodness, once they got there, the doctors evaluated them and within a few hours they were released with minor injuries,” he said.
Lapatka was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, Hamilton said.
He was being held in lieu of $200,000 bail pending a scheduled arraignment Tuesday in Pomona Superior Court, according to county booking records.
WHITTIER — Police plan to screen drivers for sobriety and valid licenses during a checkpoint Friday, officials said.The checkpoint will take place between 7:30 p.m. Friday and 3 a.m. Saturday at an undisclosed location within Whittier, Whittier police officials said in a written statement.“The deterrent effect of DUI checkpoints is a proven resource in reducing the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol or drug involved crashes,” according to the statement. “Research shows that crashes involving alcohol drop by an average of 20 percent when well-publicized checkpoints are conducted often enough.”Officers will strive to delay motorists only momentarily, police added.“DUI Checkpoints have been an essential part of the phenomenal reduction in DUI deaths that we witnessed since 2006 in California,” according to California Office of Traffic Safety Director Christopher J. Murphy. “But since the tragedy of DUI accounts for nearly one third of traffic fatalities, Whittier needs the high visibility enforcement and public awareness that checkpoints provide.”Funding for Friday’s checkpoint is being provided by the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. As always, anyone who sees an impaired driver on the road is encouraged to report it by calling 9-1-1.
POMONA — An Ontario woman is accused of drunken driving and vehicular manslaughter following a solo-car crash that left a 19-year-old passenger dead early Sunday, authorities said.
Raelene Martinez, 20, was arrested following the 1:38 a.m. crash in the 1500 block of San Antonio Avenue, Pomona police Sgt. Christian Hsu said in a written statement.
One of her four passengers, a 19-year-old Upland woman, died following the crash, Hsu said. Her name was not released pending confirmation that her family had been notified.
Martinez was driving a Toyota Camry north on San Antonio when she lost control of the car, police said.
“Her vehicle struck several parked cars and rolled over,” Hsu said.
The Upland woman died at the scene, he said.
Martinez and the three other passengers — described as an 18-year-old Ontario man, a 19-year-old Upland man and a 23-year-old Ontario man — were hospitalized with injuries not believed to be life-threatening, police said.
“Evidence at the collision led officers to suspect Martinez was under the influence of alcohol while driving,” Hsu said.
Officers from the Pomona Police Department’s Major Accident Investigation Team are handling the investigation.
ARCADIA — The Arcadia Police Department will hold a DUI and driver’s license checkpoint on Saturday night.
Police said the goal is to promote public safety and increase awareness of the dangers associated with drinking and driving. Officials said this will be accomplished by providing a highly visible enforcement and publicity campaign, in order to deter drunk motorists from getting behind the wheel and driving.
Jan’s Towing provides a no cost “Don’t Drive Drunk” detour program, 365 days a year, and will provide a free lift home for drivers and their vehicles up to seven miles in their service area. Call 626-334-1383 for more information.
WHITTIER — Police are planning to screen drivers for both sobriety and valid driver licenses Friday during a checkpoint, officials said.
The checkpoint will take place from 7:30 p.m. Friday to 3:30 a.m. Saturday at an undisclosed location within Whittier, Whittier police officials said in a written statement.
Funding fro the checkpoint is being provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
COVINA — California Highway Patrol officers are planning a sobriety checkpoint this weekend in an unincorporated county area near Covina, authorities said.
The checkpoint will begin at 8 p.m Saturday at an undisclosed location within the unincorporated area, CHP officials said in a written statement.
It will be manned by officers specially trained to detect impairment on the part of drivers, who are equipped with state of the art, handheld breath testing devices to screen motorists’ blood-alcohol levels, according to the CHP.
“Traffic volume permitting, all vehicles will be checked,” CHP Capt. Steve Urrea said. “If volume becomes too heavy, vehicles to be checked will be selected by a preset standard, such as every 3rd or 5th vehicle, to assure objectivity.”
The checkpoint is being conducted by officers from the Baldwin Park office of the CHP.
AZUSA — Police cited 17 drivers, but made no arrests, during a sobriety checkpoint late Friday.
The checkpoint was held from 7 p.m. to midnight in the 800 block of South Azusa Avenue, Azusa police Cpl. Dean Brewer said in a written statement.
Officers screened 950 of the 1,040 vehicles that passed through the checkpoint.
“We cited 14 motorists for being unlicensed and three for driving on a suspended driver’s license,” Brewer said. “Two vehicles were impounded.”
Funding for the checkpoint was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
PICO RIVERA — A gardener remained hospitalized in critical but stable condition Thursday after being struck by an alleged drunken driving while removing equipment from his truck in a residential neighborhood, authorities said.
The crash took place just before noon Wednesday in the 9500 block of Rosehedge Drive, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Robert Smith said.
The gardener, a man estimated to be in his 40s, had his truck parked along the roadside and was in the back unloading lawn mowers and other supplied when his truck was hit, the lieutenant said.
Dena Luna, 51, of Pico Rivera was driving down the street at a “high rate of speed,” Smith said, believed to be in excess of 50 mph.
Her car first struck a parked car before slamming into the gardener’s truck, Smith said. The man was thrown 30 to 40 feet by the impact.
He suffered major injuries to his head and body, officials added.
Smith said Luna also suffered significant injuries in the crash, including a punctured lung and broken ribs. Her injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.
She was hospitalized for treatment prior to booking on suspicion of felony drunken driving.
ARCADIA — Police are planning a series of checkpoints Saturday to screen drivers for sobriety and valid drivers’ licenses, officials said.
The checkpoint will take place an undisclosed spots within the city, Arcadia police officials said in a written statement.
The checkpoints are designed both to remove intoxicated drivers from the road and deter intoxicated drivers from getting behind the wheel in the first place, officials said.
Police reminded the public that Jan’s Towing officers a free program to provide motorists who have had too much to drink a tow up to seven miles within the company’s service area. For more information, call 626-334-1383.