Three Dead, One Injured in Parked Trailer Crash

One of the scariest things that can happen in car crashes is having a car crash into your home when you are sleeping. Being inside your home is supposed to invoke a sense of privacy and protection – that nothing could go wrong. It is during times like these when we are at our most vulnerable.

During the night of May 4th, a family in Knight Landing was faced with a nightmare. Around 9:50 p.m., a 2008 Chevrolet Avalanche crashed into the parked trailer in which the family of four slept. According to California Highway Patrol, Ismael Huazo-Jardinez drove his truck at a high speed and “failed to negotiate the ‘S’ curve”. This caused his vehicle to swerve off road and collide into the trailer, stationed in an agricultural community. Only the 11-year-old child survived from the family. He was immediately taken to a nearby hospital for his serious injuries. The family has not been identified yet, however, the landlord of the trailer shared that the parents were farmworkers.

Officers arrested Huazo-Jardinez on suspicion of driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter. He was transported to an emergency room to treat his injuries.

According to Sutter County Undersheriff Scott Smallwood, Huazo-Jardinez is now facing charges of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and felony driving under the influence of alcohol.

Huazo-Jardinez is scheduled to be back in court on June 10th.

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CHP Warns Public about Impaired Rideshare Drivers

The increased use of rideshare apps such as Uber and Lyft has undoubtedly been a gamechanger in the drinking game. For cities without a widespread public transit system, it provides drunk people with a convenient way to get home. Plus, it is cheaper than calling a cab. It offers the public a safe alternative to getting behind the wheel and driving under the influence.

In addition, both Uber and Lyft implement zero tolerance policies in regard to alcohol. Their contracts state that should their drivers have a DUI on their record, they will be dealt with accordingly. Or, the driver will not be hired at all. However, we all know that doesn’t necessarily mean someone hasn’t gotten behind the wheel after a few drinks before. We would hope that people who plan on driving others will refrain from risky behavior while at work. However, there are people who do not fully consider the consequences of their actions. This Cinco de Mayo weekend, the California Highway Patrol arrested a rideshare driver who was too drunk to drive.

The driver, later identified as Arnaldo Cuba, was arrested at a gas station after witnesses saw him stumbling to his vehicle. He didn’t appear fit to drive. Cuba tried to claim that he wasn’t planning on picking up passengers that night, but also stated that he was on active duty. During the CHP investigation, he incriminated himself and stated that he had been waiting to pick up a passenger.

CHP then issued a warning on their Facebook page: “My ride share is here, wait, he’s DUI. Great move calling for a rideshare…so you thought. Bad call in the part of the rideshare driver that showed up DUI, then was reported & arrested by CHP. You may be a sober passenger but be aware of who is driving you & if they may be impaired.”

Remember, you can still be in danger in a rideshare situation if your driver is impaired.

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Suspected DUI Driver Crashes into North Hollywood BMW Dealership

You ever drive by a nice car dealership and wonder how much money it must take to carry such expensive inventory? My guesses venture into tens of millions of dollars. Well, one driver had to pay a hefty price at a BMW dealership last week, and she wasn’t there to shop.

Last Wednesday, a red Subaru sedan crashed through the floor-to-ceiling showroom window of Century West BMW, spraying glass onto the street. The driver was maneuvering on Lankershim Boulevard around 2 a.m., when she lost control of her vehicle. She suddenly veered into the NoHo dealership and slammed into a $150,000 BMW i8 sports car. The crash ignited a small fire, setting off the sprinkler system. In addition, the Subaru hit another vehicle and knocked down two beams in the building. Firefighters had to extinguish the fire and to remove the standing water that collected on the showroom floor.

Soon after, police arrived on the scene and arrested the driver under suspicion of DUI. Fortunately, the woman suffered no serious injuries and will recover fully from the accident. The same, however, cannot be said for the vehicles. The front end of her car received the brunt of the force and other vehicles sustained damage during the incident. Preliminary estimates say that there is nearly $200,000 in damage.

It could have been worse. She could have crashed into a Bentley dealership or a Rolls Royce dealership. Even more important is that no one got hurt. The driver’s name has not been released to the public, and the crash is currently under investigation.

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Mariposa County Superintendent Arrested for Alleged DUI

Robin Hopper, the Mariposa County Unified School District superintendent, was arrested on Sunday, April 14, 2019 on suspicion of driving under the influence. The arrest was made after Hopper crashed into a utility pole along Highway 140, east of Planada around 6:00 p.m.

According to California Highway Patrol officers at the scene, Hopper showed signs of intoxication and was determined to be under the influence. Officers took her to Mercy Medical Center for further testing and medical care for the crash.

Once cleared, she was transported to Merced County Jail, where she allegedly bit the arm of a correctional officer. As a result of her actions, Hopper was booked for misdemeanor DUI and battery of a police officer. The following Monday, police released her on bail.

An emergency Board meeting was held on Thursday to determine if Hopper should stay on as superintendent. Hopper has been superintendent since 2014 and has already announced that she planned to resign when her contract ended. That leaves a little under two months until she resigns in June. She currently holds the district superintendent position, as well as the elected county superintendent position.

The Board voted to place Hopper on paid leave from both positions until her contract ends in June. This decision came after much deliberation and after hearing voices from parents on both sides of the issue. The years that Hopper spent leading the district had its effect, with plenty of supporters deeming the criminal system’s punishment for her actions to be enough. Others, like a mother who was a witness to the crash that occurred on Sunday, called for her termination.

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California Man Sentenced to 135 years to Life in Jail

On November 25, 2017, Fred Lowe was driving on Interstate highway 80 in San Pablo when he suddenly sideswiped another car. The Nissan Rouge he sideswiped ran over the center divide into westbound traffic, colliding with passing vehicles. This led to a cascade of actions, unfortunately involving five vehicles total. Debris scattered across several hundred feet on both side of the highway.

After the collision, Lowe fled the scene and tried to get far away from the accident. Law enforcement eventually tracked him and his damaged car to a residential neighborhood, and later arrested him. Reports showed that Lowe’s blood alcohol content was at 0.14 percent, drawn only hours after the crash. Prosecutors believed that his level might have been as high as 0.24 at the time of the crash.

All four fatalities came from the Nissan Rouge: Daryl Horn, 50, his son Joseph, 14, his brother in law Troy Biddle, 52, and his nephew Baden Biddle, 12. The driver of the Nissan, Jared Horn, was the only survivor of the vehicle. The Horns and Biddles had been on their way home from an annual basketball tournament.

According to his legal team, Lowe had a lengthy history of drunk driving and of mental illness. He had his driver’s license revoked eleven times, had multiple DUI convictions, and had seven felony convictions. During the trial, his attorney asked for 15 years to life, while the prosecution pushed for 125 years to life.

Judge John Kennedy sentenced Lowe to 135 years to life after a jury trial convicted him of murder, driving under the influence, and hit and run. His harsh sentence was imposed due to the number of victims as well as to his history. Prior to the incident, Lowe had had numerous chances to change his ways and prevent himself from endangering others.

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