San Bernardino woman in bizarre, viral Rowland Heights car crash video sought after skipping court


ROWLAND HEIGHTS >> A San Bernardino woman accused of abandoning a stolen car while high on drugs, allowing it to roll downhill and into opposing traffic in a bizarre Rowland Heights crash captured on a viral dashcam video, is now a fugitive after skipping out on her court date last month, officials said.
Jasmin Lacey, 23, faces charges of driving under the influence of drugs, hit-and-run with a runaway car, auto theft, taking a car without the owner’s consent and driving without a valid license in connection with the Sept. 1 crash along Harbor Boulevard, between Vantage Point Drive and Pathfinder Road, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said.
But Lacey failed to appear for a Feb. 10 arraignment hearing scheduled in the Los Angeles County Superior Court’s West Covina branch, she said.
“A bench warrant was issued for her arrest,” Ardalani said.
•Video: Bizarre Rowland Heights crash
The strange series of events, which resulted in no injuries, was captured on another driver’s dashcam. The video, posted on YouTube, has since garnered more than 4.9 million views.
In the video, the driver of a 2010 Hyundai Sonata — later identified as Lacey — suddenly slams on the car’s brakes, bring the car to a halt, and exits the vehicle. The driver then walks down the center median with a casual stride as the abandoned Hyundai rolls downhill and across opposing traffic lanes.
California Highway Patrol officials said the car struck an SUV. A second SUV also became tangled in the wreck before the Hyundai ultimately struck two trees and came to a stop.
After being found in the area, Lacey appeared extremely intoxicated and provided no explanation for her alleged actions, CHP Officer Armando Perdomo said at the time.
She was initially arrested, but released from custody pending further investigation as officials awaited the results of blood tests, according to Perdomo and Los Angeles County booking records.
Prosecutors filed charges Feb. 5, records show.
The two auto theft-related crimes Lacey is charged with are felonies, Ardalani said. The three additional charges of hit-and-run, DUI and driving without a license are misdemeanors.

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No arrests made at Whittier DUI checkpoint, 17 cited

WHITTIER >> Police screened 1,394 drivers, but made no arrests during an overnight checkpoint late Friday and early Saturday, officials said.
The checkpoint was held from 7:30 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. on Washington Boulevard, just west of Lambert Road, Whittier police Lt. Bryan Ellis said.
Three drivers were given sobriety tests, but none were ultimately arrested on suspicion of intoxicated driving, the lieutenant said.
Officers issued 13 tickets to unlicensed drivers, and another four to people driving on suspended licenses, Ellis said.

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Checkpoint planned in Pasadena

PASADENA >> Police officers are planning to hold a checkpoint Friday night in Pasadena, authorities said.
The checkpoint will be held from 7 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday at an undisclosed location within the city, Pasadena police officials said in a written statement.
Over the past three years alone, Pasadena police investigated 119 DUI collisions, resulting in five deaths and 114 injuries, police added.
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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Police plan checkpoint in Whittier Friday night

WHITTIER >> Police in Whittier will screen drivers for sobriety and valid licenses during a checkpoint late Friday and early Saturday, officials said.
The checkpoint will take place from 7 p.m. Friday to 2:30 a.m. Saturday at an undisclosed location within the city, Whittier police officials said in a written statement.
“Over the course of the past three years, (Whittier Police Department) officers have investigated 327 DUI collisions which have claimed four lives and resulted in another 148 injuries,” according to the statement.
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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Alleged drunken driver arrested after pursuit, crash along Walnut-Pomona border


POMONA >> Deputies and police arrested an alleged drunken driver who led a deputy on a chase from Walnut to Pomona before crashing his pickup truck into another car and fleeing the scene, authorities said.
The incident began about 6:20 p.m. when a deputy tried to pull over a suspected drunken driver in a Dodge pickup truck in the area of Temple and Bonita avenues, near Mt. San Antonio College, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Joseph Badali said.
The driver refused to pull over, leading the deputy on a short chase before colliding with another car along Temple Avenue, just west of Valley Boulevard, just across the city border in Pomona, the lieutenant said.
Deputies called of the pursuit following the collision, he said. At least one person inside the car struck by the fleeing suspect was hurt, though the injuries were not believed to be serious.
Badali said the drunken driver then continued driving and parked his truck at a nearby gas station. The suspect was apprehended nearby on foot.
He was booked on suspicion of drunken driving, evading police and hit-and-run, Badali said.
Investigators at the crash scene took measurements around a sedan spun the wrong way in eastbound lanes of Temple Avenue with significant damage toward the rear end.
The suspect’s name was not available Wednesday as he was taken to a hospital for examination prior to booking, he said.

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Police to hold DUI checkpoint in Covina Saturday night

COVINA >> Police are will screen drivers for sobriety during an overnight checkpoint in Covina Saturday night, officials said.
It will be held from 6 p.m. Saturday to 2 a.m. Sunday at an undisclosed location within the city, Covina police officials said in written statement.
The checkpoint is dedicated to the memory of 22-year-old Dustin Ray Travis-Plummer, who was killed by a drunk driver on Dec. 15, 2006, on the 210 Freeway near his home in Rancho Cucamonga, police said.
Funding for the checkpoint is being provided by a grant from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

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Rosemead motorcyclist killed in crash with alleged DUI driver in Irwindale identified


IRWINDALE >> Authorities Thursday released the identity of a motorcyclist from Rosemead killed in a collision with an alleged drunken driver earlier this month.
Maximiliano Michel, 29, died following the crash, which took place about 9:15 p.m. on Feb. 5 at Longden and Myrtle avenues, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner officials said. His identification was delayed as coroner’s investigators worked to notify family members.
An autopsy determined Michel died from “traumatic injuries,” and the death was ruled an accident, according to the coroner’s office.
Michel was riding a 2009 Yamaha motorcycle north on Myrtle Avenue as a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu was turning left from southbound Myrtle Avenue onto eastbound Longden Avenue, according to Irwindale police Sgt. George Zendejas. the vehicles collided in the intersection.
Officers rushed Michel to a hospital, where he died a short time later, officials said.
The driver of the Chevrolet, 23-year-old Pamela Ramirez of Baldwin Park, was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI after officers determined she was under the influence of alcohol, police said.
County booking records show Ramirez was released from jail pending her initial court appearance two days after the crash after posting $100,000 bail.

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Woman killed while crossing street in Rowland Heights, driver accused of DUI


ROWLAND HEIGHTS >> A Hacienda Heights man is accused of being high on drugs when he struck and killed a woman as she crossed the street in Rowland Heights late Tuesday, authorities said.
Yussef Hadi Afra, 23, is accused of felony drunken driving in connection with the 7 p.m. collision on Batson Avenue, just south of Colima Road, according to California Highway Patrol officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
The identity of the woman killed remained unknown Wednesday, Investigator B. Kim of the Los Angeles County Department of Medical-Examiner Coroner said. She was officially listed as a “Jane Doe.”
Afra was driving a 2015 Honda Civic northbound on Batson Avenue as the woman was crossing west across the roadway, officer Tim Zaspal of the CHP’s Santa Fe Springs area office said in a written statement.
The Honda struck the woman, who was rushed to a hospital with major injuries, Zaspal said. She died a short time later.
“(Afra) was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs,” Zaspal added. It was unclear what type of drugs Afra was accused of being under the influence of.
After being examined at a hospital, Afra was booked into jail, where he was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail, according to officials and records.

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3 arrested, 25 cited during Whittier police checkpoint


WHITTIER >> An overnight police checkpoint in Whittier resulted in three arrests and 25 citations, authorities said Saturday.
The checkpoint was held from 7 p.m. Friday to 2:30 a.m. Saturday on Whittier Boulevard at Philadelphia Street, Whittier police Lt. Aaron Ruiz said.
Officers screened 1,221 vehicles, he said. They administered four field sobriety tests, ultimately arresting one driver on suspicion of DUI.
Two additional people were arrested for outstanding warrants during the checkpoint, Ruiz said.
Police issued 18 tickets to unlicensed drivers, and 7 tickets to drivers with suspended licenses, he added. One vehicle was impounded.

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Police checkpoint planned tonight in Whittier

0212_NWS_WDN-L-CHECKPOINT

WHITTIER >> Police are holding a sobriety and driver license checkpoint tonight in Whittier, officials said.
The checkpoint was scheduled to take place between 7 p.m. Friday and 2:30 a.m. Saturday within the city limits, Whittier police officials said in a written statement.
Funding for the checkpoint is being provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Safety Administration.

PHOTO courtesy of the Whittier Police Department

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