Covina man accused of DUI in major injury crash on the 57 Freeway in Diamond Bar

DIAMOND BAR >> A fiery crash blamed on a drunken driver sent five people to the hospital early Sunday, including a woman and a boy who suffered major injuries, authorities said.
The California Highway Patrol received reports of a crash between a 2003 Toyota Camry and a 2010 Kia Forte about 3:10 a.m. on the northbound 57 Freeway just north of Diamond Bar Boulevard, CHP Sgt. Elizabeth Van Valkenburgh said in a written statement.
The Kia was stopped along the right shoulder of the freeway prior the crash, she said. A 29-year-old woman was at the wheel, along with a 24-year-old woman, a boy of unknown age and a man of unknown age riding as passengers. All four occupants of the Kia were Apple Valley residents, however the relationship among them was unclear.
The boy and a man who were passengers in the Kia suffered major injuries and were flown to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center for treatment, Van Valkenburgh said. Paramedics took the woman who was driving the Kia, as well as the second woman riding as a passenger, to the University of California, Irvine Medical Center with injuries described as minor to moderate.
Edgar Rodriguez, 26, of Covina, is suspected of being drunk as he drove his Toyota Camry up the 57 Freeway approaching the stopped Kia, Van Valkenburgh said.
“His vehicle drifted onto the right shoulder and rear-ended the Kia,” she said.
The impact sent the Kia spinning, and it ultimately came to a rest blocking the two right-hand lanes, officials said.
The Toyota continued forward along the sound wall along the right side of the freeway before coming to a rest.
“Shortly after (Rodriguez) escaped from his vehicle, is caught fire and became engulfed in flames,” Van Valkenburgh said. He was treated for “moderate” injuries including a broken wrist and was expected to be booked on suspicion of felony drunken driving.
Officials shut down all northbound lanes of the freeway until about 4:10 a.m., at which time the HOV lane was opened for traffic, according to the CHP. All traffic lanes were cleared shortly before 5 a.m.
Any witnesses to the crash were asked to contact Officer Dockweiler of the Baldwin Park office of the CHP at 626-338-1164.

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Van Nuys woman, 22, fatally struck by alleged DUI driver on Sepulveda Blvd. sidewalk

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VAN NUYS — A 22-year-old Van Nuys woman died early Sunday after an alleged drunken driver struck her as she walked along a Sepulveda Boulevard sidewalk, authorities said.
Haley Dawn Coreas died in the 12:45 a.m. crash in the 6300 block of Sepulveda Boulevard, just south if Victory Boulevard, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Investigator Betsy Magdaleno said.
The woman was walking on a sidewalk in front of a recreational vehicle rental business when she was struck by a Toyota 4Runner SUV.
“A suspected DUI vehicle traveling southbound Sepulveda, south of Victory, went off the roadway (and) collided with a pedestrian on the sidewalk,” Los Angeles police Officer Sally Madera said.
Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics pronounced Coreas dead at the scene at 1:05 a.m., Magdaleno said.
“The driver of the vehicle was taken into custody,” Madera said.
The identity of the suspected DUI driver was not available Sunday. It was unclear whether the driver was injured the crash.
The investigation was be handled by the LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division.

PHOTO by Rick McClure

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One DUI suspect arrested at Pico Rivera checkpoint

PICO RIVERA >> Deputies arrested one person on suspicion of drunken driving during a checkpoint late Friday, authorities said.
The checkpoint was held from 7 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday on eastbound Whittier Boulevard, just west of Paramount Boulevard, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
In addition to the one DUI arrest, deputies cited eight unlicensed drivers and four people driving on suspended or revoked licenses, officials said.
Four cars were impounded for 30 days, while three cars were impounded for one day and eight more were released to licensed drivers at the checkpoint.

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Checkpoint planned Friday in Pico Rivera

PICO RIVERA >> Sheriff’s deputies in Pico Rivera will hold a checkpoint Friday to check drivers for sobriety and valid licenses, authorities said.
The checkpoint will be held from 7 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday at an undisclosed location within Pico Rivera, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
In Los Angeles County over the past three years, DUI-related crashes have claimed 49 lives and left 1,113 people injured, officials said.
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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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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