The California Highway Patrol (CHP) Bridgeport Area and the Mammoth Lakes Police Department (MLPD) have collectively scheduled a sobriety checkpoint for Friday, September 18, 2015, in Mono County. Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The purpose of a sobriety checkpoint is to deter impaired driving, remove impaired drivers from the roadway and educate the public regarding the dangers of impaired driving.
Unfortunately, impaired driving remains a major traffic safety issue. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Website, in 2012 more than 10,000 people were killed nationally in alcohol-impaired traffic collisions. NHTSA estimates alcohol-impaired traffic collisions cost an estimated “37 billion dollars annually”.
Unfortunately, what cannot be captured in the statistics is the lasting impact an impaired driving event has on those involved. Lieutenant Jeff Holt, Commander of the CHP Bridgeport Area, wanted to remind residents, “Impaired drivers, either drunk and/or drugged, create a life threatening danger to our communities. A sobriety checkpoint has a deterrent effect which ultimately makes Mono County safer. This year alone, DUI related traffic collisions in Mono County are up 60 percent from 2014. This is a trend that cannot continue. With cooperation from the public and a collaborative effort towards traffic safety from our law enforcement partners, we can reduce DUI related collisions.”
In an effort to reduce impaired driving, the CHP employs sobriety checkpoints to raise awareness and remove impaired drivers from the roadway. Please, don’t become a statistic. Always plan ahead and designate a sober driver.
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Inyo County Search and Rescue recovers fall victim
information from the Inyo County Sheriffs Department
Jigsaw Pass recovery
On August 5th at about 5:20pm, the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office was notified through CalOES of a SPOT device activation near Jigsaw Pass. The activation was followed by a message asking for a helicopter for an immediate evacuation due to an injury. A short time later another message was sent saying, “fatality.” Two Inyo County SAR members responded to the coordinates of the SPOT activation.
On August 6th at about 7:00am, CHP H-80 arrived and with the assistance of the Inyo County SAR team, H-80 was able to recover the body of Stephanie Subak (58 years old from Seattle, WA) and transport her to the Sheriff’s Posse Hut near the Bishop airport, where she was then driven to Brune Mortuary.
Interviews conducted with her hiking friends who were with her at the time of the accident indicated that Subak was descending down Jigsaw Pass when a rock that she grabbed onto gave way, causing her to tumble about 40 feet down a chute. Once Subak’s partners got to her, she was unconscious but breathing; she passed away about an hour later. According to the coroner Subak sustained multiple traumatic injuries that caused her death.
The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office extends our sincere condolences to Subak’s family and friends during this very difficult time. We also would like to thank the Inyo County SAR team and H-80 for their response efforts
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The California Highway Patrol accident report indicates the drivers over-correction led to a single vehicle roll over Thursday. The accident occurred just after 1pm Thursday, July 16th on highway 395 just south of the Manzanar National Historic site. The accident report indicates that 31 year old Fullerton resident Michael Leon Jr was behind the wheel of a 2007 Toyota southbound on highway 395 at approximately 70 mile per hour. The vehicle drifted onto the left dirt shoulder when the driver over-corrected to the right losing control of the vehicle which then overturned at least one time.
Michael Leon Jr and a 7 year old female passenger where properly restrained and were able to exit the vehicle with the assistance of a passing motorist. Both suffered minor injuries and where transported to Lone Pines Southern Inyo Hospital. 58 year old passenger Michael Leon Sr had to be removed from the vehicle by paramedics. Leon Sr was also wearing his seat belt. Leon Sr suffered moderate injures and was transported via Mercy Air to Kern Regional Hospital. The collision remains under investigation.
Agencies responding to the crash included the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office, Independence Volunteer Fire Department, Lone Pine Volunteer Fire Department, California Highway Patrol and CalFIRE.
cover photo by the Inyo County Sheriffs Department.
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California City Woman Arrested following Tuesday crash
A two vehicle traffic accident Tuesday afternoon on highway 14 south of Mojave sent several to the hospital. Recent Bishop Union High School graduate, 19 year old Irving Perez was behind the wheel of a northbound 2003 GMC with three passengers including his parents Alejandro and Adela Perez and an 11 year old brother. According to the California Highway Patrol accident report, 32 year old California City resident Rebecca Hallman was driving a 1998 Dodge southbound with two passengers, including a 7 year old boy and 6 year old girl. The report indicates that Hallman “allowed the Dodge to cross into the northbound lanes of traffic directly in the path of Perez’s GMC”. Hallman and the 7 year old boy suffered minor injures and the 6 year old girl received moderate injuries. All were transported to Antelope Valley Hospital. Bishop resident Irving Perez suffered what were described as major injuries. Passengers Alejandro Perez and the 11 year old boy suffered minor injuries and were transported to Antelope Valley Hospital. Adela Perez was not injured. The California Highway Patrol notes that the collision remains under investigation. The Mojave Area CHP office indicates that Rebecca Hallman was evaluated for driving under the influence and was subsequently arrested for Driving Under the Influence causing injury and child endangerment.
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The list of serious traffic collisions continues to grow. The most recent accident occurred Wednesday morning on highway 395 in Mono County just south of Walker. Two Ford pickup trucks collided head on sending all four occupants to Reno’s Renown Medical Center.
The California Highway Patrol Bridgeport office released the accident report:
On Wednesday, July 8, 2015, at approximately 8:35 A. M., Richard Alent ( age 40, of Reno) was driving a 2013 Ford pickup truck southbound on US-395, approximately 2.5 miles south of East Side Lane. At the same time, Henry Trammell ( age 73, of Bakersfield) was driving a 2015 Ford pickup northbound on US-395. Mr. Alent allowed the Ford pickup he was driving to cross-over the painted solid double yellow lines into the northbound lane directly into the path of Mr. Trammell’s vehicle. The preliminary investigation indicates neither driver was able to take evasive action, and the vehicles collided head on. The vehicles came to rest blocking both lanes of US-395. As a result, US-395 was closed for approximately two hours to allow for the removal of occupants, vehicles and the cleanup of the roadway.
All four individuals involved in the collision were transported by helicopter to Renown Medical Center in Reno, Nevada for treatment of moderate to major injuries. Alent suffered major injuries, passenger Jessica Pedro, age 41 of Santa Rosa suffered moderate injuries. Henry Trammell received moderate injuries with his passenger 76-year old Bakersfield resident Marcia Trammell suffering moderate injuries. Officers from the California Highway Patrol Bridgeport Area office responded to the scene and are conducting the collision investigation. Mono County Paramedics, Mono County Sheriff’s Office personnel, Mono County Animal Control personnel, Antelope Valley Volunteer Fire Department personnel, and California Department of Transportation personnel responded to the collision scene to assist.
cover photo from the Mono County Sheriffs department
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The California Highway Patrol has released details from a July 4th traffic accident north of Bishop. The report indicates the single vehicle crash occurred at approximately 10am this past Saturday with 31 year old Benton resident Crystal Lawrence behind the wheel of a 2001 Dodge neon. According to the accident report, “On Saturday, at approximately 10:00 AM, Crystal Lawrence was driving a 2001 Dodge Neon westbound on Five Bridges Road near Fish Slough Road. The vehicle collided with a guard rail. Lawrence fled the scene after the collision and failed to notify authorities of the collision. During the course of the investigation, Lawrence was located at a residence in Benton, and she was found to have sustained major injuries from the accident and she also exhibited signs and symptoms of being under the influence of alcohol. Lawrence was transported to Mammoth Lakes Hospital and she was placed under arrest for Driving Under the Influence of alcohol and for Hit and Run.”
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Highway 395 north of Bridgeport was closed in both directions Tuesday after a fatal crash. While the investigation continues, the California Highway Patrols initial report is showing the head on collision was the result of a southbound 2015 Nissan Versa crossing the center line into the northbound lane. The crash remains under investigation.
The CHP accident report.
On Tuesday, June 9, 2015, at approximately 10:13 P.M., California Highway Patrol (CHP) Bishop Communication Center received a report of a head on traffic collision on US-395, north of Bridgeport. Upon Arrival, CHP officers located a Nissan Versa, Ford Fusion, and Freightliner box truck blocking both northbound and southbound traffic lanes of US-395.
The driver of the Nissan (Wesley Chen, 26, of Monterey Park) sustained fatal injuries as a result of the collision. The two passengers in the Nissan(both age 26 of San Diego, and Fremont CA) received major injuries, and were transported via Care Flight to Renown Medical Center in Reno, Nevada.
The driver of the Freightliner box truck (46 year old Ronnie Varela of Carson City) sustained minor injuries and will seek his own medical care. The driver and passenger of the Ford Fusion (85 year old Kenneth Bryant, 77 year old Esther Bryant of Gardnerville) were uninjured.
Bridgeport Fire Department, Mono County Sheriff’s Office, Mono County Paramedics and California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) all responded to the scene to provide assistance. Preliminary information indicates the Nissan Versa crossed the center line of the roadway into the northbound lane, colliding with the Freightliner box truck. The exact sequence of the events and the cause of the collision remain under investigation by the CHP. The Mono County Sheriff-Corner Office is conducting the death investigation.
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Two vehicles collided early Wednesday morning near Ridgecrest killing both drivers and one passenger. Two additional passengers suffered major injuries.
According to the California Highway Patrol Mojave office the collision occurred just after midnight, at 12:15am Wednesday south of Ridgecrest on highway 395. A southbound 2002 Volkswagen driven by a 23-year old female from Reno Nevada struck the front of a northbound 2006 Cheverolet driven by a 18-year old female from Ridgecrest. Both drivers died along with a front seat passenger in the Cheverolet. The age and residence of the third victim was not released. Two additional passengers in the Cheverolet a 22-year old female from Bakersfield and a 14-year old female suffered major injuries. The California Highway Patrol notes that the collision remains under investigation.
UPDATE (4/9/15, 6:30am)
The deceased have been identified by the Kern County Coroner.
DECEDENT’S NAME: Taylor Kay Marie Warren
CITY OF RESIDENCE: Ridgecrest, CA AGE: 19 years
TYPE OF CASE: Traffic Fatality
DECEDENT’S NAME: Myranda Danea Kiaha
CITY OF RESIDENCE: Ridgecrest, CA AGE: 18 years
TYPE OF CASE: Traffic Fatality
DECEDENT’S NAME: Erica Leigh Greif
CITY OF RESIDENCE: Reno, NV AGE: 23 years
TYPE OF CASE: Traffic Fatality
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The Bishop California Highway Patrol office is passing along details from a early morning accident Easter Sunday. The accident report indicating the single vehicle accident occurring on Owens River Road between Poleta Road and Warm Spring Road. The Driver, 20-year old Bishop resident Michael Maxey was arrested for felony hit and run and felony child endangerment. Below is the CHP accident summary.
On 04/05/15 at approximately 1:30 AM, Michael Maxey was driving a vehicle southbound on Owens River Road at a high rate of speed. As the vehicle entered a sharp curve on the dirt road, the driver was unable to maneuver through the curve and the vehicle left the roadway. The vehicle overturned before being submerged in the Owens River. All occupants of the vehicle swam to shore and left the collision scene without notifying authorities. During the course of the accident investigation, three people were identified as occupants of the vehicle at the time of the collision. One of the juvenile passengers (age 14 of Ridgecrest, CA) involved in the collision sustained minor injuries. The driver was arrested for Felony Hit & Run and Felony Child Endangerment and he was booked into the Inyo County Jail. Personnel from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and Inyo County Sheriff’s Department responded to the collision scene to assist with the incident.
The driver of the vehicle was 20-year old Michael Maxey of Bishop. The CHP indicates that 18-year old William Armstrong of Bishop was also in the vehicle at the time of the accident. Armstrong was not injured. The 14-year old male from Ridgecrest suffered what were described as minor injuries.
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The California Highway Patrol says alcohol was a factor in the Saturday evening crash. According to the CHP accident report, a 52-year old Santa Ana woman (name being withheld pending notification of next of kin) was driving a Toyota Tacoma pickup southbound on Scotty’s Castle Road. The report notes that the driver was not wearing a seat belt, and due to “alcohol intoxication” she allowed the truck to leave the roadway, over-correcting the truck leading to the vehicle overturning at minimum of one time. The driver, the lone occupant of the truck, was ejected sustaining fatal injuries. The single vehicle accident occurring at 5pm on Saturday, January 17th.
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