Articles Posted in Traffic Representation

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

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

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.

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

Amanda Bynes got in some trouble this weekend when she was arrested early Sunday morning around 4am. Bynes, widely known for “The Amanda Show,” was a successful childhood actress with talents keeping her in the industry until her young adult life. At some point, however, Bynes’ life started looking increasingly more chaotic to the outside world as she changed her face with procedures, piercings, caked-on makeup and overly dark spray tans. Not only did her physical appearance change after she retired from acting, her overall behavior did as well. Prior to her arrest Sunday morning, Bynes was already serving out her probation sentence for previous unruly acts such as DUIs, setting a neighbor’s driveway on fire, etc; she even threw a bong out of her apartment window on the 36th floor! The arrest this weekend occurred after police were notified about a car stopping in the middle of an intersection in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles. After a thorough evaluation at the local police station, Bynes was determined to be operating her vehicle under the influence of a drug yet to be identified. She was booked and taken into custody but was later released after she posted $15,000 bail. This isn’t Bynes’ first incident with reckless driving and most likely won’t be her last, but hopefully she takes something away from these mishaps and drives safer in the future.

Sources:
“Amanda Bynes Arrested for DUI in Los Angeles” – UT San Diego

After an extensive vehicular pursuit, Jonathan Daniel Draudt, 51, who was taken into custody for suspicion of DUI and for evading police, ended his evasion by crashing into a building; he was taken to a nearby emergency room. This morning, however, Draudt displayed he had not yet learned his lesson on attempting to escape from the authorities. Draudt, from Oceanside, put his hands on and pushed a police officer as he attempted to escape and tried to run from the Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. The police officer tackled Draudt to the floor and booked him at the Sonoma County Jail, with the possibility of adding resisting arrest to his record.

The whole situation started with Draudt leading the police on a chase after he ran through a red light around midnight. Draudt’s vehicle, a Jeep Rubicon, eventually crashed into a building during the chase, causing a gas and water leak; fire fighters kept the leaks under control. After the accident, Draudt attempted to run again but was caught and taken into custody when he tried to jump a fence north of the crash. Apparently there were two passengers inside of his Jeep the entire time, but they were extracted from the vehicle and sent to the same hospital Draudt tired to flee from. The passengers were not charged or arrested.

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Labor Day weekend can be one of the most fruitful holiday weekends for cops picking drivers under the influence off of the streets and highways, one by one. Compared to DUI arrests last year over Labor Day weekend, the amount has increased almost exactly 30% – a very significant jump from 57 to 72. Fatalities, however, have decreased! In fact, there were absolutely no deaths associated with Labor Day weekend this year, which is shocking with the large increase in number of DUI arrests. Last year, in 2013, there were two deaths during this time period. The overall number of arrests and deaths in the state of California also decreased, with 1,043 arrests this year, 1,092 last year and 23 deaths, down from 24. The death count statistical breakdown for the state of California, is as follows: 21 individuals in vehicles were killed (12 not wearing seat belts), and 3 motorcyclists were killed (all 3 were wearing their helmets). Holidays in California, and the United States in general, tend to be when major clumps of DUI arrests are made. Remember to drive safely and hand over your keys to a designated driver if you decide to drink! However, if you do get pulled over and are under the influence, remember you are not obligated to answer any questions and to give us a call, first!

Sources:
“72 Arrested for DUIs Over Labor Day Weekend” – CBS 8 San Diego

Navy officials had a not-so-pleasant knock at the main North Island Naval Air Station entrance – from a car. The gate at the main entrance was heavily damaged by a suspected drunken driver smashing into it around 5am Tuesday, forcing Navy officials to close down that specific entrance and attempt to divert traffic elsewhere. On the City of Coronado’s Facebook page, officials stated where the traffic was being redirected to; from the Third Street entrance to the Ocean Boulevard and first street gates. The wreck caused by an individual driving under the influence caused huge delays and the main gate where the accident occurred wasn’t reopened until 6:30am. The hour and a half wait was also a result of structural issues caused by the car hitting the entrance and authorities needed the time to correct them. Even though the gate was fixed, traffic got very heavy because of the backup still existing from when the gate was broken. Soon, things returned back to normal and the driver was taken into custody for DUI.

“Suspected DUI Crash Closes Gate at North Island” – Fox 5 San Diego

Cesar Chavez Parkway in San Diego became a danger zone Monday night when a southbound grey and red sedan swerved its way into northbound traffic. The sedan pummeled a man riding a motorcycle in said northbound traffic, causing the driver to be rushed to the hospital and fighting for his life with life-threatening injuries; a compound fracture to his leg and head injuries. The driver of the sedan, however, managed to escape, making it a hit-and-run case and initiating a search by authorities to locate him/her. Witnesses managed to see where the sedan driver who hit the motorcycle sped off to, stating the vehicle was seen driving east on Newton Avenue. Authorities have not yet released the description of the driver but have continued the search throughout San Diego and its surrounding areas Tuesday night. They are not yet able to determine the cause of the driver’s actions and if the behavior was a result of drugs or alcohol. Hopefully police are able to locate the driver soon and the motorcycle driver in the hospital undergoes a speedy recovery.

Sources:
“Motorcyclist Seriously Hurt in Hit-and-Run Crash” – CBS 8 San Diego