Articles Posted in Public Safety?

A three car pileup occurred last night around the 1100 block of East Washington Avenue in Escondido. According to police, a black truck driving around 9p.m. crashed into a silver sedan; makes and models of the vehicles aren’t released. When the truck rammed into the silver sedan, the impact propelled the sedan to roll over and smash into another sedan, white in color. The truck driver, the driver at fault, attempted to escape and make it a hit-n-run case, but he was immediately taken into custody on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI). Luckily, none of the individuals involved were harmed by the accident/rolling vehicles, but particles on the street were a hazard to other drivers on the road. The impact caused dangerous debris to slide across the road to the extent that police had to close the road to traffic while the scene was investigated and the shards and scrap metals were removed from the road.

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“Suspected DUI Driver Causes 3-Car Crash” – NBC San Diego

Alan Long was re-elected into the Murrieta city council last week after choosing to step down from his position as mayor. A type of scandal erupted when Long was caught driving under the influence (DUI) and mishandling his pickup truck, causing him to lose control of the vehicle and ram into the car in front of him. The car he hit contained four teenage girls, all high school cheerleaders ranging from the ages of 14 to 17; they came out of the accident with injuries. Long was already being charged with one count of felony DUI causing injury and now the girls who were injured are suing him as well. Long, who has a job working as a battalion chief for the Anaheim Fire Department, is in over his head and is scheduled for arraignment on December 11. Long’s attorney, apparently, still hasn’t seen the lawsuit being brought against him. In the upcoming weeks more about the story will unfold and the perspective of the injured girls from the accident will be heard.

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“Councilman Sued For Alleged DUI Crash With Teens” – UT San Diego

Unfortunately, there will always be people out there who are willing to sacrifice the life of someone else in order to obtain money; especially life insurance rewards. Toni Henthorn, a 50-year-old woman at the time, married to Harold Henthorn, 56, went on a vacation for their twelfth wedding anniversary to a scenic place called Deer Mountain, located in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park. Toni was excited and wanted to get as close to nature as possible for her photography, so the two went off the trail slightly and closer to the ledge in order to get the shot she was aiming for. The suddenly, Toni fell off of the ledge and tumbled face first down the side of the mountain; it took Harold fifteen minutes to find her body and remarkably she was still breathing. By the time the paramedics arrived, however, she was dead. The shocker? Toni was sitting on life insurance policies worth four and a half million dollars and the inheritor of all of her bank accounts was Harold. According to the coroner, homicide cannot be ruled out, which lead to the indictment of Harold Henthorn over two years after the incident occurred on September 29, 2012. He was taken into possession and charged with first degree murder for the death of his wife, Toni Henthorn. Eerily enough, Harold was married before he met Toni and his ex-wife died in what he called a “car accident”; the car crushing her to death during a tire change mishap. According to Toni’s relatives, Harold had always seemed like a shady, money obsessed guy who turned Toni into a shell of her former self in order to be with him.

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“Woman Killed In National Park Had 4.5 Million Life Insurance” – UT San Diego

Most people know to avoid the authorities if they are doing something illegal, but not this guy! Twenty-three year old Israel Guadalupe Garcia was taken into custody after he impaled his Toyota pick-up truck into the side of a San Diego County Sheriff’s patrol car. Garcia was originally pulled over for running a red light, but as deputies approached the truck to question him, he put the truck in reverse; crashing it into the patrol car behind him. After crashing into the patrol car, Garcia led the police on a short chase, ultimately resulting in him losing control of the truck and hitting a tree next to a home in Alvarado Terrace. Authorities were able to take him into custody and said he showed signs of driving under the influence of alcohol. Once in custody, the police checked Garcia’s criminal history to reveal his license was suspended along with numerous other arrests on his record. Luckily, no one was injured during the incident.

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“DUI Suspect Rams Sheriff’s Cruiser, Speeds Off, Crashes” – Times of San Diego

A bicyclist was critically injured after they were struck by a drunken driver who swerved into the bicycle lane. The driver, 39-year-old Billy Bilke Jr. from Moreno Valley, was driving his Ford F-150 pickup truck and attempting to multitask while apparently under the influence of alcohol. According to authorities, he was not only completely wasted but was talking on his cell phone and eating at the same time. Eating what, you might ask? Deep fried mushrooms. The triple threat was a recipe for disaster as he outwardly claims he didn’t see the cyclist at all before he practically ran him/her over with his truck. The incident happened around 4p.m. Tuesday afternoon on Jefferson Avenue in Murrieta. Luckily, the cyclist survived the impact but was rushed to a nearby hospital and has been hospitalized with major head trauma. Billy Bilke will be paying for his mistakes in the future as he was arrested and booked into jail on felony DUI resulting in bodily injury.

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“DUI Suspect Who Hit Cyclist Was Eating, Talking On Phone” – UT San Diego

Last year, two children were discovered face down and floating in a pool behind a home in La Mesa. The mother of the children, Tassie Behrens, claimed she put the children to sleep on the living room couch the night before and then joined her boyfriend in the master bedroom to sleep. According to detectives, Behrens said the oldest of the two children came into the bedroom about 8a.m. the next morning looking for his younger sister, implying she was no longer in the living room where the mother had left them. Behrens apparently ignored this and went back to sleep, only to get up an hour later and find them both drowned in the backyard pool. The children, one two years old and the other only eighteen months old, should have never been left alone and especially not where they would be able to so easily access the pool. Behrens, 28, pleaded guilty to two counts of felony child endangerment and was sentenced to four years in prison. The drowned children, however, were not all detectives found when they entered the house. The search of the property revealed a drug manufacturing business was underway as police found pipes, bongs, drug residue, exposed wires, butane cans and other dangerous things all within the children’s grasp. Behren’s boyfriend, 45-year-old Larry Dangelo, was the one renting the house and plead guilty to one count of manufacturing honey oil and another charge related to a different location. He was sentenced to eight years and eight months in custody and is required to serve half of his sentence in county jail and the other half under mandatory probation supervision.

Sources:
“Man In Drowning Case Sentenced On Drug Charges” – UT San Diego

A strong debate has come to the surface over the driving capabilities of elderly people and if there should be any restrictions put in place to re-check driving skills every couple of years. Currently, there are no re-evaluations or re-tests required for drivers as they age; the initial driving test is the only obstacle to get and maintain a license. As people get older, their sharpness in vision, depth perception and cognitive abilities deteriorate over time, causing safety hazards and unnecessary tragedies. Earlier this week, a perfect example of a preventable tragedy due to an elderly driver occurred when 45-year-old Melissa Ratcliff was unloading her car on a busy street in La Jolla and was struck by another vehicle; she was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the car was 91 years old and impaled their vehicle into Ratcliff while backing out of a parking spot and crossing to the other side of the street. Ratcliff was the vice president for the San Diego chamber of commerce and had a number of impressive past careers under her belt, including working in the white house. As the country becomes more aware of the importance of practicing maximum safety while behind the wheel, stronger license requirements are bound to be put into place to hopefully prevent tragedies such as this one from happening again.

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“Woman Killed In La Jolla Identified As San Diego Chamber Vice President” – CBS 7 San Diego

Schools are taking drug use more seriously to the extent of hiring drug-sniffing dogs to secure narcotics from students’ belongings, so much so that the district decided to use close to $60,000 acquired in an education grant to purchase Blitz – their very own drug detecting dog. Previously, principals of the schools in the San Diego district had to pull the funds for separate narcotic searches with canines from their individual campus budgets, but since the hiring of Blitz authorities have been able to visit and have the dog sniff out nearly all of the high schools the district encompasses. Some parents, however, are far from happy about the acquisition and claim the drug searches are a violation of the freedom rights of their children. The administration has taken as many precautions as possible to make sure students are aware the searches are voluntary and parents are notified; text messages are sent to the parents when searches are going to take place. Students are allowed to choose whether or not to exit classrooms and leave their belongings in order to volunteer being subjected to searches from Blitz. Having a personal narcotic sniffing canine certainly is out of the norm for a school district and It isn’t clear if other districts will follow in San Diego’s footsteps.

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“Drug Sniffing Dog Has Increased Presence On San Diego Campuses” – UT San Diego

An accident in Lemon Grove on Saturday was possibly caused by one of the drivers operating their vehicle under the influence of alcohol, according to the local authorities. Two vehicles were involved in the crash, which happened a little before 4 p.m. at the intersection of Central Avenue and Citrus Street. Fortunately, there were no fatalities or critical injuries resulting from the impact, but there were some precautionary hospitalizations and a number of people involved. Passengers between the two vehicles included both children and adults, but all those who were injured were adults; the children were the precautionary hospitalizations. In total, three adults and four children were taken to the hospital for injuries with one of the adults being the suspected drunken driver and the other two being the driver and front passenger of the other vehicle. Police have not indicated if any charges will be placed against the suspected DUI or if the driver will be taken into custody. Most likely, any action would take place after the driver recovers and their blood alcohol level is examined.

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“7 Hospitalized After Suspected DUI Crash” – Fox 5 San Diego

Another celebrity got in trouble with the authorities on Tuesday; Michael Phelps was charged with another DUI. According to online records, this DUI charge is another addition to a myriad of other charges against him. In total, Phelps is awaiting the consequences of five traffic charges and the documentation is now available on the web for everyone to see. The charges, accumulated at different times in the past few years, include but are not limited to: driving while impaired from alcohol, driving under the influence and driving under the influence of alcohol. DUI charges are a large percentage of Phelps’ legal troubles, but he also accrued charges for excessive speeding and driving over double-lane lines in the I-95 tunnel. As of today, there are no set dates for court and Phelps does not yet have a defense attorney. When the press reached out to Phelps to obtain his statement for the press, he took “full responsibility” for his reckless behavior and apologized tremendously.

Sources:
“Charging Documents Show Phelps DUIs Tied To Alcohol” – UT San Diego