Suspect denies charges in connection with major injury, alleged DUI crash in Rowland Heights

ROWLAND HEIGHTS >> A Compton man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges in connection with an alleged drunken driving crash in Rowland Heights that left an 18-year-old man in a coma, officials said.
Pierr Gonzalez-Garcia, 21, has been charged in Pomona Superior Court with felony drunken driving and driving with a blood-alcohol level above .08 percent in connection with the Aug. 1 crash on Pathfinder Road in Rowland Heights, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials said in a written statement.
Prosecutors also allege the special allegations that Gonzalez-Garcia personally inflicted great bodily injury causing the victim to become comatose, and that his blood-alcohol level was at or greater than .15 percent, according to District Attorney’s office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani.
In addition to being drunk, Gonzalez-Garcia was also allegedly driving at an excessive speed when he struck the victim’s car with his own, officials said. The 18-year-old victim suffered multiple broken bones in his face and body, as well as traumatic brain injury.
If convicted as charged, Gonzalez-Garcia could face up to eight years in state prison.
He was ordered to return to court Oct. 23 for a hearing.
The crash is being investigated by the California Highway Patrol.

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Police plan checkpoint Friday in Whittier

WHITTIER >> Police are planning a sobriety and driver’s license checkpoint late Friday, officials said.
The checkpoint will be held from 7:30 p.m. Friday to 2:30 a.m. Saturday at an undisclosed location with Whittier, Whittier police officials said in a written statement.
Over the past three years in Whittier and Santa Fe Springs, four people have died and 167 people have been injured in DUI-related crashes, according to Whittier police Sgt. Rob Hanson.
Funding for the 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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Police plan checkpoint Friday in Pasadena

PASADENA >> Police are planning a checkpoint late Friday to screen drivers for sobriety and valid licenses, officials said.
The checkpoint will take place from 7 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday at an undisclosed location within the city, Pasadena police Lt. Pete Hettema said in a written statement.
Over the past three years in Pasadena, four people have died and 112 people have been injured in DUI-related crashes, according to Police Chief Phillip Sanchez.
Funding for the checkpoint is being provided through a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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CHP plans checkpoint in Rowland Heights Friday

ROWLAND HEIGHTS >> California Highway Patrol officers are planning to screen drivers for sobriety at a checkpoint Friday in Rowland Heights, officials said.
The checkpoint is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. at an undisclosed location with Rowland Heights, CHP officials said in a written statement.
Traffic volume permitting, all drivers passing through the checkpoint will be screened, officials said.

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Police plan checkpoint in El Monte Wednesday

EL MONTE — Police plan to check drivers for sobriety and valid licenses during a checkpoint late Wednesday, officials said.
The checkpoint will be held from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. at an undisclosed location within El Monte, El Monte police Officer Bryan Tromp said in a written statement.
Funding for the operation is being provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety.

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Police: Drunken driver crashes into tour bus full of seniors in Irwindale

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IRWINDALE >> A drunken driver slammed into a charter bus filled with senior citizens in Irwindale late Sunday, officials said.
Ten of the 48 primarily elderly passengers of the bus complained of pain following the crash, and one was taken to a hospital for examination, Irwindale police Sgt. Rudy Gatto said.
Montiel Reyes, 23, of Los Angeles was booked on suspicion of felony drunken driving in connection with the crash, which took place about 7 p.m. at Arrow Highway and Live Oak Avenue, just east of the 605 Freeway, Gatto said. Reyes was unlicensed and has also had his driving privilege suspended, he added.
Reyes was driving a two-door Honda Civic west on Arrow Highway when he entered the intersection and struck the bus, Gatto said. The bus was eastbound on Arrow Highway, making a left turn to continue east on Arrow Highway at the Live Oak Avenue fork.
Police said the civic struck the left, rear portion of the bus.
Damage to the car was described as major, while damage to the bus appeared moderate, Gatto said.
A second bus was sent for the passengers, Gatto said. It was not clear where the bus was heading when it became involved in the crash.
Reyes was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail at the Baldwin Park Police Department’s jail pending his initial court appearance, Gatto said.
The circumstances of the crash remained under investigation, and anyone with information was asked to contact Detective Sgt. George Zendejas at 626-962-3601.

BOOKING PHOTO of Montiel Reyes, 23, of Los Angeles courtesy of the Irwindale Police Department.

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Three DUI suspects arrested at Arcadia police checkpoint

ARCADIA >> Police jailed three allegedly impaired drivers during a checkpoint in Arcadia late Saturday, officials said.
The checkpoint was held on Santa Anita Avenue near St. Joseph Street, Arcadia police Lt. Tom Cullen said.
Three people were arrested on suspicion of intoxicated driving, while another seven were cited for driving without licenses, and one was cited for driving with a suspended license, the lieutenant said.
Police stored three cars for one day, and one car was impounded for 30 days, he added.
Funding for the checkpoint was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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UPDATED: 20 tickets, no arrests, reported at La Mirada checkpoint

LA MIRADA >> Deputies issued 20 tickets but made no arrests during a sobriety and driver’s license checkpoint Saturday night in La Mirada, officials said.
The checkpoint was held from 5 p.m. to midnight on westbound Imperial Highway, just east of Santa Gertrudes Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Eric Smitson said.
No drivers were arrested during the checkpoint, however 19 tickets were issued for driving without a license, and one was issued for driving on a suspended license, sheriff’s officials said. Thirteen cars were released to other licensed drivers at the checkpoint.
Deputies impounded six vehicles for one day, and a one vehicle was impounded for 30 days, he added.
Funding for the checkpoint was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Five drivers arrested for DUI at Glendora checkpoint

GLENDORA >> Police arrested five DUI suspects during a checkpoint late Friday and early Saturday, including one with a blood-alcohol level three times greater than the legal limit, officials said.
The checkpoint was held from 6 p.m. Friday to 2 a.m. Saturday on Grand Avenue, Glendora police Senior Community Service Officer Wendy Brewer said. Brewer also coordinates a regional, multi-agency anti-DUI task force known as “Avoid the 100.”
In addition to the five suspected intoxicated drivers, police also arrested seven people for driving without licenses or identification, and one person was jailed due to an outstanding warrant, Glendora police Sgt. Marty Barrett said.
Officers cited 27 unlicensed drivers and 20 drivers with suspended licenses, Barrett said. Twenty-four vehicles were impounded as a result of the checkpoint.
Officers from the Pomona, La Verne and Azusa police departments joined Glendora police at the checkpoint, Brewer said.
Funding for the checkpoint was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Wreckage on display in Arcadia as reminder of the dangers of DUI

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ARCADIA >> Police have placed a somber reminder to drive sober along the city’s main thoroughfare.
In partnership with Jan’s Towing, the Arcadia Police Department is displaying a mangled car that was involved in a fatal DUI-related crash along Huntington Drive, police officials said in a written statement. The goal of the educational project, dubbed the Safe Summer Campaign, is to remind motorists of the dangers and tragic, sometimes deadly consequences of intoxicated driving.
The wrecked vehicle was placed, along with banners encouraging sober driving, was placed on the center median of Huntington Drive just west of Gate 3 Thursday, and will remain in place for weekends through Aug. 18, police said.
“The hope is to grab the attention of passers-by, to make a lasting impression and to cause them to think twice before driving while impaired,” according to the police statement.
Two banners accompany the wreckage. One reads, “Don’t drink and drive,” while the other reads, “Arcadia Police Department Safe Summer Campaign.”
A box of brochures from Mothers Against Drunk Driving sits nearby.
Officials planned to reuse the display at Arcadia High School to educate students in the fall, officials said.
For more information, the Arcadia Police Department Traffic Bureau can be reached at 626-574-5475.

PHOTO courtesy of the Arcadia Police Department

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