Motorcyclist from Altadena killed, Pasadena man accused of DUI after collision


PASADENA >> An Altadena man died after a drunken driver collided wit his motorcycle in Pasadena early New Year’s Day, police said.
The deadly crash took place at 4:39 a.m. along Fair Oaks Avenue at Washington Boulevard, Pasadena police Lt. Mark Goodman said.
The victim, a 57-year-old Altadena man whose name was yet to be released, was riding a motorcycle south on Fair Oaks Avenue when a 2006 BMW X3 made a left turn in front of him, he said.
“The victim collided with the suspect vehicle and was ejected from the motorcycle,” police said in a written statement.
Pasadena Fire Department paramedics treated the motorcyclist and took him to an area hospital where he soon succumbed to his injuries.
Police identified the driver of the BMW as Shawn Antonio, 42, of Pasadena.
“Antonio was found to be under the influence of an alcoholic beverage and was arrested for gross vehicular manslaughter and DUI,” according to the statement.
Antonio has a previous conviction for DUI, police said, making him potentially eligible for a murder charge once prosecutors file a case.
Under California law, defendants accused of DUI resulting in death following a previous DUI conviction can often be charged with murder.
Those convicted of DUI are generally made to acknowledge a “Watson advisement” stating that they understand DUI is dangerous to human life, and that should they be involved in another DUI resulting in death, they could be charged with murder.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Antonio was being held in lieu of $2 million bail pending his initial court appearance.

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Deputies make arrests, hand out toys to children during checkpoint in Industry

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INDUSTRY >> Deputies made 33 arrests or citations, but also handed out Christmas toys to children, during a checkpoint in Industry late Thursday, officials said.
The checkpoint was held from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Hacienda Boulevard, just south of Nelson Avenue, near the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Industry Station, according to Capt. Jeff Scroggin of the sheriff’s Information Bureau.
A total of 1,453 vehicles passed through the checkpoint, and 47 drivers were evaluated, he said.
Officials arrested two drivers on suspicion of driving under the influence of marijuana, Scroggin said in a written statement.
Seventeen unlicensed drivers were arrested and issued court dates, four drivers are accused of driving on suspended or revoked licenses, seven people were arrested for knowingly allowing an unlicensed person to drive, one person was arrested for possession of narcotics and two people were arrested for outstanding misdemeanor warrants, Scroggin said.
Deputies impounded four vehicles for 30 days, while 17 more were released to licensed drivers per checkpoint policy, he added.
But officials handed out more than citations during the checkpoint. Deputies also brought children’s toys to the checkpoint to give to children who passed through.

PHOTOS courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

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Police plan checkpoint in West Covina

WEST COVINA >> Police are planning to hold a checkpoint to screen drivers for sobriety and valid licenses next week.
The checkpoint is scheduled to take place from 6 p.m. on Dec. 30 to 2 a.m. on Dec. 31 at an undisclosed location within the city, West Covina police officials said in a written statement.
“DUI Checkpoints like this one are placed in locations based on collision statistics and frequency of DUI arrests, affording the greatest opportunity for achieving drunk and drugged driving deterrence,” according to the statement. “Locations are chosen with safety considerations for the officers and the public.”
Funding for the operation is being provided by a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, through the California Office of Traffic Safety.

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La Puente woman suspected of DUI after car plummets into San Gabriel River in Azusa

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AZUSA >> Police suspect drunken driving and excessive speed after a car plummeted 100 feet over the side of San Gabriel Canyon Road in Azusa early Thursday, ending up overturned in the San Gabriel River below.
The crash was first reported about 4:05 a.m. in the 2000 block of San Gabriel Canyon Road, Azusa police Sgt. Robert Landeros said in written statement.
A 25-year-old La Puente woman was at the wheel of the 2014 Toyota Corolla when it left the roadway and fell into the river along the Mountain Cove community, he said.
“The solo driver was able to exit her vehicle as it became submerged in the water,” Landeros said. “The driver swam to a nearby embankment and yelled for help.”
A nearby resident heard the woman’s screams and called police. A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department helicopter and search and rescue team joined in the effort.
Paramedics took the woman to a hospital with injuries described as moderate, according to the sergeant.
“Driving under the influence of alcohol and unsafe speed are both suspected factors in this collision,” Landeros said.
The investigation was ongoing, however the driver was expected to be booked on suspicion of drunken driving, he said.

PHOTO courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

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Arcadia woman killed by alleged DUI, hit-and-run driver identified


ARCADIA >> Authorities have released the identity of a 77-year-old Arcadia woman who was killed by an alleged drunken, hit-and-run driver while crossing Baldwin Avenue last week.
Fang Qiaorui died at a hospital following the collision, which took place about 9:45 p.m. on Dec. 14 on Baldwin Avenue near Arcadia Avenue, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said. An autopsy was pending.
She was struck by a Ford Explorer Sport Trac pickup truck, which fled the scene after striking her, Arcadia police Sgt. Dan Crowther said.
But witnesses provided police with a description of the truck, including its license plate number. Investigators quickly found and arrested Alex Danilo Cerna, 51, at his home in Pasadena, the sergeant said.
Cerna pleaded not guilty to charges of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and hit-and-run on Friday in the Pasadena branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court, records show.
According to court and booking records, Cerna was released from custody Monday after posting $100,000 bail. He’s schedule to return to court Jan. 12 for a preliminary hearing setting.

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Pasadena man accused of DUI, hit-and-run in death of Arcadia woman denies charges


ARCADIA >> A Pasadena man accused of fatally striking an elderly woman with his pickup truck in Arcadia while drunk, then fleeing the scene, pleaded not guilty on Friday to charges filed in connection with the collision, authorities said.
Prosecutors filed charges of vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run against Alex Cerna, 51, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said.
He was at the wheel of a Ford Explorer Sport Trac pickup truck when it struck a 77-year-old Arcadia woman at Baldwin and Arcadia avenues, according to Arcadia police Sgt. Dan Crowther.
The succumbed to her injuries at a hospital. Her identity was not released Friday pending notification of her family, coroner’s officials said.
The driver fled the scene, but witnesses provided police with a description of the hit-and-run truck, including its license plate number, Crowther said.
Police found and arrested Cerna at his home in Pasadena a short time later, Crowther said. They determined he was under the influence of alcohol.
Cerna was being held in lieu of $80,000 bail pending his next court appearance, scheduled on Jan. 12.
Anyone with information about the hit-and-run is asked to call the Arcadia Police Department at 626-574-5151. Anonymous tipsters can call L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Man sentenced for running over, killing sleeping man with SUV in South El Monte


SOUTH EL MONTE >> A drunken driver who ran over and killed a man who was sleeping in a South El Monte parking lot in September received a 12-year prison sentence this week, authorities said.
Steven Agredano, 47, of South El Monte pleaded “no contest” to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and drunken driving in connection with the fatal incident, which took place about 5:45 p.m. on Sept. 17 in the 2600 block of Rosemead Boulevard, according to Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani. An additional charge of driving with blood-alcohol level above .08 percent was dismissed.
Killed was Elias Contreras Garcia, 57, of South El Monte, according to Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner’s officials. An autopsy determined he died from “craniocerebral trauma” and the death was ruled an accident.
He was asleep in the parking lot, for unknown reasons, when Agredano ran over him with a Toyota 4Runner SUV, sheriff’s officials said at the time.
Following his plea on Tuesday in the Pomona branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court, Agredano received his 12-year prison sentence from Judge Salvatore Sirna, Ardalani said.
It was far from Agredano’s first time in front of a judge.
Agredano was convicted of arson and burglary after setting fire to the vacant home of a neighbor in March of 2012. He was sentenced to four years in state prison, records show. It was unclear when he was released.
He was also convicted of battery on a peace officer in August and domestic battery in January, according to court records.
Agredano was convicted of recklessly evading police in 2011, resisting arrest in 2008, as well as vandalism, reckless driving and battery in 1995.

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Police checkpoint planned in honor of Glendora man fatally struck by alleged DUI driver last year

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GLENDORA >> Police in Glendora are planning to screen drivers for sobriety and valid licenses during a checking on Friday night, officials said.
The checkpoint will be held from 7 p.m. Friday to 2:30 a.m. Saturday at an undisclosed location within Glendora, Glendora police officials said in a written statement.
Friday night’s checkpoint is being dedicated to longtime Glendora resident Joaquin Sepulveda, 65, who was fatally struck by an alleged drunken driver while riding his motorcycle at Foothill Boulevard and Galanto Avenue on Dec. 13, 2015, police said.
Sepulveda was badly hurt in the collision and succumbed to his injuries on Feb. 2 at a hospice care center, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records.
This weekend’s checkpoint is being funded by a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, through the California Office of Traffic Safety.

PHOTO of Joaqin Sepulveda courtesy of the Glendora Police Department

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Whittier police plan holiday DUI crackdown, checkpoint

WHITTIER >> Police in Whittier are stepping up DUI enforcement through New Year’s Day, starting with a checkpoint to be held on Friday night, authorities said.
The checkpoint will take place from 7:30 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday at an undisclosed location within the city, Whittier police Sgt. David Elizarraras said in a written statement.
The special enforcement campaign will continue through the New Year, however, with saturation patrols and possible additional checkpoints, officials said.
“We want to keep our roads safe for holiday travelers, so we will have zero tolerance for drunk or drugged driving,” Whittier Police Chief Jeff Piper said.
Funding for the extra enforcement is being provided by a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, through the California Office of Traffic Safety.

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Driver suspected of DUI in solo-car crash that killed passenger in Pasadena


PASADENA >> A Pasadena man is accused of manslaughter following an early-morning crash that claimed the life of a woman riding as a passenger in his car just south of the Rose Bowl on Saturday, authorities said.
Javier Placencia Jr., 38, was arrested following the 5:30 a.m. solo-car crash in the 900 block of Seco Street, between Rosemont and Lincoln avenues, Pasadena police Lt. Mark Goodman said in a written statement.
Officers responded to report of a vehicle fire when they came upon a 2007 Ford Edge that had crashed into a light pole, Goodman said. The car was not on fire.
The passenger was taken to a hospital where she soon succumbed to her injuries, officials said.
The driver, later identified as Placencia, was unhurt.
“It is believed that alcohol was a related factor in this collision,” Goodman said.
The identity of the 52-year-old woman killed in the crash was not released pending notification of her family. The relationship between the woman and the suspect was also unclear.
Placencia was booked on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter and was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail at the Pasadena City Jail pending his initial court appearance, officials said.
According to Los Angeles County Superior Court records, Placencia was just sentenced to 10 days in jail and three years of summary probation on Oct. 4 after pleading “no contest” to a charge of being drunk in public. The case stemmed from an arrest in March.
He also received a sentence of 13 days in jail and three years formal probation in September after pleading “no contest” to a charge of assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury. That case stemmed from an arrest in May.
Anyone witnesses or anyone with information with information is urged to contact Pasadena police Traffic Section Lt. Diego Torres as 626-744-7159, or the on-duty watch commander at 626-744-4620.

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