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Data Confirms Traffic Related Deaths Rose In 2012

Posted on 23 November 2013 by Monica Zech

The latest news from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is not good.  Traffic related deaths rose in 2012, this includes crashes involving motorcyclists and pedestrians.

Please follow this link to the NHTSA report:

http://www.nhtsa.gov/About+NHTSA/Press+Releases/NHTSA+Data+Confirms+Traffic+Fatalities+Increased+In+2012

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Memorial Day Crash Kills Five In Newport Beach

Posted on 28 May 2013 by Monica Zech

Shock, questions after deaths of 5 teenagers in Newport crash

The Memorial Day wreck, in which a speeding Infiniti split apart after hitting a tree, leaves grieving friends searching for answers.

 

Students mourn the deaths of their friends...

Students mourn the deaths of their five friends…

From the Los Angeles Times

May 28, 2013, 8:43 p.m.

In a city with a grim history of high-profile car wrecks, even veteran police and firefighters seemed stunned by the death toll on Jamboree Road.

They called the Memorial Day wreck in Newport Beach the single worst solo-car crash in memory. They groped, and failed, to come up with a worse one.

The violent collision, just down the road from Fashion Island and the Newport Beach police station, killed five teenagers from neighboring Irvine, scattering debris and bodies across the pavement.

Police say the 17-year-old driver, Abdulrahman M. Alyahyan, a senior at high-achieving University High School, was speeding south in an Infiniti on Jamboree Road near Island Lagoon Drive when the car swerved out of control and struck a tree, the violence shearing it in two. What was left caught fire.

Abdulrahman and all his passengers were killed. Among them were two sisters who attended Irvine High School — Robin A. Cabrera, 17, a 12th-grader, and Aurora C. Cabrera, 16, a 10th-grader. Also killed were Nozad Al Hamawendi, 17, and Cecilia D. Zamora, 17, both 11th-graders at Irvine High School.

The car was so fragmented that firefighters initially believed two vehicles had been involved.

One of the car’s occupants was thrown partway out of the car, while the four others were hurled out completely, police said. Some of the victims’ injuries were so devastating that the coroner’s office had to rely on fingerprints to make identifications.

Newport Beach police said Abdulrahman had been speeding on a downhill stretch of road with a posted 55 mph speed limit. The road is a popular bypass between the 405 Freeway and Pacific Coast Highway.

“There are simply no words to convey the sorrow felt by our students and staff, nor are there answers sufficient to explain why five vibrant teenagers who were with us on Friday are gone today,” Irvine Unified School District Supt. Terry Walker said Tuesday.

Walker said counselors will be sent to Irvine and University High Schools to help students deal with the situation. Graduation ceremonies are approaching at both campuses.

On Tuesday, friends and schoolmates of the victims visited the scene of the crash.

“You never saw that guy frown once,” Aram Yaco, 17, said of Nozad.

Kelly Dunkle, 17, added that Nozad would compliment complete strangers: “He would just go out and tell you how good you are.”

Friends described Cecilia as “bubbly” and “one of the happiest people you’ll ever meet.” As Kelly recalled, “It was funny when she tried to be mean, because she couldn’t.”

Aram said the crash should serve as a reality check. “I think people should take it as a wake-up call,” Aram said.

Ida Lodriguito, step-grandmother to the Cabrera sisters, recalled them as “very loving and caring girls.” She said they were “raised in a nurturing atmosphere,” adding that they had died “so close to becoming adults.”

The girls’ uncle, Bernard Cabrera, said they appeared shy at first and had big hearts.

“Their dad could never say no to them,” he said. “How could you — they were always so sweet.”

Robin was known as an accomplished dancer with a captivating singing voice. Her younger sister Aurora went by Christine, or Tintin, after the comic book character.

On Robin’s Facebook page, friends and classmates left emotional goodbyes. One remembered her from science camp, others from dance and choir.

“I’ll always remember your sweet little voice everyday and all the little jokes we had,” one post said. “I know you’re an amazing dancer and now you’re a dancer in heaven.”

According to Orange County court records, an Abdulrahman M. Alyahyan was cited by the Irvine Police Department last month for improperly modifying a car’s exhaust system and violating his provisional driver’s license provisions.

Police would not confirm whether it was the same person who was driving the Infiniti that crashed.

Newport Beach, one of Southern California’s wealthiest cities, has a history of headline-seizing car wrecks linked to speeding.

In 2009, less than a mile from the site of Monday’s crash, the co-founder of the mixed martial arts apparel company TapouT was killed when his red Ferarri was struck by a Porsche, veered into a light pole and split in two. Police later estimated that the Porsche was traveling at 100 mph.

In 2011, three people were killed in a speed-related crash on West Coast Highway, including a former track star from Corona del Mar High School.

And in 1997, a speeding Chevrolet Blazer crammed with 10 Newport Harbor High School students struck a median and overturned, killing the son of an Orange County prosecutor, leaving one girl in a coma and injuring others.

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Road Rage On The Coronado Bridge

Posted on 20 May 2013 by Monica Zech

(May 20, 2013) – Road Rage On The Coronado Bridge Knocks Two People Off Their Motorcycle – Off Duty Cop Is Witness

Sadly “road rage” is still a problem on our roadways.  Today, the driver of a BMW was seen driving reckless and after tangling with two people on a motorcycle, purposely cuts them off knocking them off their motorcycle.  It just so happens an off duty police officer witnesses the crime – and the driver of the BMW is later arrested.

*Read the attached news release below from the California Highway Patrol.

————————————————————————————————————

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 20, 2013

 

Road Rage on Coronado Bridge Results in Arrest

On May 18, 2013 at approximately 6:30pm, Phillip Eggers (7/27/88) of El Cajon was arrested after his involvement in a road rage incident on the Coronado Bay Bridge.

An off-duty San Diego Police Officer along with other witnesses, observed Subject Eggers driving a blue BMW M3 in a reckless manner while on the Coronado Bridge.  After a brief encounter (while in motion) with a motorcycle rider and passenger, Subject Eggers was reported to be driving in the #3 lane, while the motorcycle was in the #2 lane, to the left side of the BMW.  According to witnesses, Subject Eggers purposely swerved towards the motorcycle, striking the motorcycle and causing both occupants to be ejected off the motorcycle at approximately 5:40 p.m.

Subject Eggers continued driving off the Coronado Bridge while the off-duty San Diego Police Officer followed the BMW to Glorietta Boulevard where the BMW came to stop.  The off-duty San Diego Police Officer identified himself and held Subject Eggers at gun point until Coronado Police Department arrived on scene.  After an initial investigation, CHP San Diego arrested Subject Eggers and booked him at San Diego County Jail on the following charges; 664/187 PC, 245(a)(1) PC, and 273(a) PC.

If you have questions or need further information, please contact the San Diego CHP office.

Safety, Service, and Security

 

Written by:  CHP Media Information Officer Tommy Doerr, San Diego, California

Border Communications Center

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Driving Hazards – Eating & Driving

Posted on 30 March 2013 by Monica Zech

To reinenforce the safe driving messages heard at my presentations, I came across this news story in regards to “eating & driving.”   In this news story the driver of a semi passes out while choking on food while “eating and driving.”

http://www.kcra.com/news/2-dead-on-I-80-after-truck-driver-chokes-near-Davis/-/11797728/19506826/-/tw652tz/-/index.html?treets=sac&tid=2651710786813&tml=sac_break&tmi=sac_break_1_07180103282013&ts=H

Safe Travels,

Monica Zech

 

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Traffic Deaths Up In 2012 – National Safety Council

Posted on 19 February 2013 by Monica Zech

Traffic Deaths Were Up In 2012

National Safety Council Estimates First National Increase in Traffic Deaths Since 2005

Itasca, IL – The National Safety Council announced today its preliminary estimate that approximately 36,200 motor vehicle fatalities occurred in 2012. This marks a five percent upsurge from 2011 and is the first increase since 2004 to 2005. Crash injuries requiring medical attention also are estimated to have risen by five percent since 2011 to a total of 3.9 million.

Total miles driven across the nation have been on the rise since December of 2011, which may be a contributor to the increase in fatalities. NSC also speculates some of the increase in miles driven may be due to an improving economy and the mild 2012 winter across much of the country.

“NSC is greatly concerned with the upswing in traffic fatalities on our nation’s roads,” said Janet Froetscher, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “Although we have improved safety features in vehicles today, we also have new challenges, especially as it relates to teen and distracted driving, that need to be addressed on a national scale. We must work together now to reverse this latest trend to prevent needless tragedy.”

In addition to devastating human loss, motor vehicle crashes present a significant national cost in lost wages and productivity, medical expenses, administrative expenses, employer costs and property damage. The estimated cost of motor vehicle deaths, injuries and property damage in 2012 was $276.6 billion, a five percent increase from 2011.

Research Detail

NSC Motor Vehicle Fatality Reporting System

Each month, motor vehicle fatality data is supplied to the National Safety Council by traffic authorities in 50 states and the District of Columbia. This data is used to make current year estimates based on the latest final count from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). NSC counts total motor vehicle-related fatalities that occur within a year of the crash, consistent with data compiled from death certificates by the NCHS, and includes those occurring on public roadways and private property. This differs from the methods used by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The NHTSA method counts traffic fatalities that occur within 30 days of a crash and only those occurring on public roadways.

About the National Safety Council

Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, the National Safety Council (nsc.org) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to save lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where we can make the most impact –distracted driving, teen driving, workplace safety and safety beyond the workplace.

Note: One death is too many…buckle up, slow down – and stay alert!  Stay Alert – Stay Alive!

http://www.nsc.org/Pages/National-Safety-Council-Estimates-First-National-Increase-in-Traffic-Deaths-Since-2005-.aspx

2/19/13

Contact:
Kathy Lane
Communications Director
(630) 775-2307
kathy.lane@nsc.org

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Unlicensed Drivers Pose Threat On California Roads

Posted on 05 January 2013 by Monica Zech

The DMV released a report noting the dangers of those driving with no license, or a suspended license.   That these drivers cause many of the tragic collisions we see on on roadways.  That was proven to me when my father was killed by a DUI driver on June 5th, 1992.  The 23 year-old male DUI driver (.16 BAC) that killed my father was driving on a suspended license, due to previous DUI arrests.  It took my father to stop him, but it took my father’s life as well.  After the report below you’ll see a link to a more recent crash caused by a woman driving on a suspended license.  DUI checkpoints often take dozens of these drivers off our roadways.

DMV News Release –  December 20, 2012

Unlicensed Drivers Pose Threat On California Roads

Sacramento –A new California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) study  found that suspended/revoked and unlicensed drivers are much more hazardous on  the road than validly licensed drivers.   The study, entitled Fatal  Crash Rates for Suspended/Revoked and Unlicensed Drivers, found that compared  to licensed drivers, suspended/revoked and unlicensed drivers are nearly three  times more likely to cause a fatal crash.   The study also found that unlicensed drivers tend to be more hazardous  than suspended/revoked drivers.

The study used crash data over a 23-year period and looked  at two-vehicle fatal crashes where only one driver was at fault.  The study found that the at-fault crash risk  of suspended/revolved and unlicensed drivers has not decreased over time.

Among the Report’s Key Findings:

  • Compared to  validly licensed drivers, suspended/revoked and unlicensed drivers are 2.60 and  2.73 times more likely to cause a fatal crash relative to their exposure.
  • The largest  percentage of suspended/revoked and unlicensed drivers involved in two-vehicle fatal  crashes are those aged 20 to 29.
  • For drivers aged  19 or younger in two-vehicle fatal crashes, the percentage who were unlicensed drivers  was almost four times higher than the percentage who were suspended or revoked.

The actual number of unlicensed drivers in California is unknown because  these drivers do not come to the attention of the DMV until they are involved  in a crash or convicted of a traffic violation.

Being cited  for driving on a suspended/revoked license or while unlicensed can result in a 30-day  vehicle impoundment, thousands of dollars in fines, time being added to a  license suspension/probation period, or revocation of a license.

A DMV study by DeYoung (1999) found vehicle impoundment to  be highly effective in reducing crashes among treated suspended/revoked and  unlicensed drivers.

 

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Don’t Stand In Line, Go Online! Doing business with the DMV has never been easier. The DMV offers an array of services to customers 24  hours a day, 7 days a week through its Website including online advance  appointments for written and drive tests; vehicle registration and driver  license renewals, selection of personalized license plates, changes of address  and payment of fees via secure debit transactions. Customers can also effect  transactions by calling DMV customer service at (800) 777-0133. DMV is a department under the Business, Transportation and Housing  Agency.

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Example of crashes caused by those driving unlicensed or on a suspended license:

Accused drunk driver pleads not guilty in fatal crash

http://www.cbs8.com/story/20495226/accused-drunk-driver-pleads-not-guilty-in-fatal-crash

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A woman who allegedly drove the wrong way while drunk on state Route 52, causing a head-on crash that killed the other driver, pleaded not guilty Thursday to a felony charge of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

April Thompson, 23, was ordered held on $250,000 bail. She faces up to 10 years in state prison if convicted.

Deputy District Attorney Michael Runyon said Thompson was driving westbound in the eastbound lanes of state Route 52 around 1 a.m. last Saturday when she crashed her Chevrolet truck head-on into a 1970 Volkswagen Beetle driven by 25-year-old Jayme Alan Midlam. He died at the scene and Thompson was treated at a hospital for moderate injuries.

After the crash, Thompson started her truck again and tried to back out of the wreckage, but was unsuccessful, Runyon alleged. He said two witnesses pulled Thompson from the crumpled truck and she was heard saying “I just want to go home.”

Two preliminary alcohol screening tests were measured at .217 and .196 percent, Runyon said. He said full blood-alcohol tests were pending.

Thompson told police that she had one glass of vodka about 4:30 p.m. the previous afternoon and was on her way from her home in National City to her boyfriend’s home in El Cajon when the accident occurred.

“Suffice to say that an individual could not drink a standard glass of alcohol and reach the blood-alcohol level that the PAS device revealed that she was at,” Runyon told reporters.

The prosecutor said that while Thompson’s driver’s license may have been suspended, she may not have received notification that was the case.

Deputy Public Defender Sal Tarantino unsuccessfully urged Judge David Szumowski to set bail at $50,000, saying Thompson had no criminal record and was not a risk to flee.

But the judge said that based on Runyon’s representations, it appeared the defendant “had a lot more than a glass” of alcohol to drink the night of the crash.  Szumowski set a bail review for Tuesday and a readiness conference for Jan. 14.  A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Jan. 16.

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(More to be added…)

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Stunt Goes Wrong

Posted on 27 October 2012 by Monica Zech

Teen tries to jump over moving car and fails – (video link below)

The 19-year-old was trying to impress college recruiters with his athleticism

PALM BAY, Fla. — Police in central Florida say a 19-year-old is recovering after a botched attempt to jump over a moving car in Palm Bay.

Officials report that Bladimir Barreto was conscious and bleeding when he was flown to Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne after the Wednesday evening accident in serious condition. (November 24, 2012)

Police say Barreto was attempting the jump for a video to show his athletic prowess to college football recruiters. Barreto graduated from West Melbourne Christian Academy two years ago and played for the now defunct Brevard Grizzlies, an amateur football team.  Palm Bay police spokeswoman Yvonne Martinez says he’s lucky his injuries weren’t worse. Police say Barreto was likely trying to simulate videos he’s seen on the Internet.

Barreto’s brother was filming as another brother drove the car he tried to jump over

To see the video of this incident please click on the following link – caution – it is graphic in nature.

http://www.ems1.com/ems-oddities/articles/1360341-Video-Teen-tries-to-jump-over-moving-car-fails/

 

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Yet Another Great Reason Not To Smoke Marijuana

Posted on 17 September 2012 by Monica Zech

Latest research is linking certain types of “hard to treat” cancer among men who smoke marijuana.   Click on the following link:

http://alcoholism.about.com/b/2012/09/13/smoking-marijuana-doubles-risk-of-testicular-cancer.htm

 

 

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The Real-Life Dangers of Texting and Driving!

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