This Week In The News (09/02 – 09/06)

45 People Killed in Crashes, Over 1,000 DUI Arrests Made Over Labor Day Weekend: CHO

Thursday, September 5, 2019 (KTLA 5) – According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), 45 people were killed in auto accidents throughout the state. On Labor Day weekend alone, more than 1,000 suspected DUI drivers were arrested. CHP collected statistics over the holiday weekend between Friday 6:01 p.m. and Monday 11:59 p.m.. Officers responded to crashes that collectively left 45 people dead. Of those deceased, 74% were not wearing seat belts. This is part of their ‘maximum enforcement’ campaign to crack down on reckless drivers, speeding, and most importantly, impaired drivers. 

Simi Valley: Bus Carrying Schoolchildren Crashes on 118 Freeway, Tying Up Traffic for Hours

Tuesday, September 3, 2019 (KABC 7) – A charter bus full of school children was involved in an accident Tuesday morning, tying up traffic for hours on the 118 Freeway in Simi Valley. The children were heading to Reagan Library for a field trip when the wreck occurred. 5 people were injured as a result, but those injuries were moderate. There were three other vehicles involved in the accident, but everyone appears to have made it out unscathed. The cause for the pileup is still under investigation. 

Fiery Pasadena Crash: 2 Men in Their 20s Killed, 2 Others Hospitalized After Crash Slams Into Tree

Tuesday, September 3, 2019 (KABC) – A deadly crash, involving four men, occurred in Pasadena on Tuesday. All occupants were in their 20s and were speeding when they slammed into a tree. The driver and one other passenger were found dead, and the surviving passengers were taken to the hospital. Apparently the driver lost control of the vehicle negotiating a turn. The names of the deceased have not been released. 

Bicyclist Fatally Struck in Hit-and-Run Crash in South Los Angeles

Tuesday, September 3, 2019 (ABC 7) – Police are on the hunt for a suspect responsible for killing a cyclist in a hit-and-run crash in South Los Angeles on Monday evening. The suspect’s vehicle was traveling eastbound on 92nd Street when he or she hit the bicyclist. The victim was dead when first responders arrived on the scene. His identity as not yet been released, nor has a description of the car or suspect involved in the accident. 

Probe to Find Cause of California Dive Boat Fire Could Lead to Criminal Case

Thursday, September 5, 2019 (Los Angeles Daily News) – A dive boat off the coast of Southern California caught on fire sometime before dawn on Monday, killing 34 people trapped below deck. What still isn’t clear is why the captain and crew made the decision to flee the burning boat before attempting to rescue those below deck. It is still to be seen whether the act was the only viable option or blatant cowardice, and if a crime has even been committed. It would be a direct violation of the captain’s lawful duties if he abandoned ship without trying to rescue any passengers. There is an ongoing criminal investigation across multiple agencies to determine if the crew and captain will be held responsible for the deaths of 33 passengers and 1 crew member. 

Crews Contend With Erratic Weather as Tenaja Fire Near Murrieta Explodes to 1,400 Acres; Hundreds Evacuated

Thursday, September 5, 2019 (CBSLA) – As of Friday morning, the Tenaja brush fire is at 20% containment. The fire held steady at 2,000 acres burned. Two structures were damaged and hundreds of homeowners remain under evacuation. Just after 2:15 p.m, Friday, new evacuation orders were issued for Montanya Place, Bonita Place, Belcara Place and Lone Oak Way in the city of Murrieta. The risk of high winds and lighting is also prompting officials to keep evacuations in place. Residents were urged to stay away from the area during the evacuation orders.

Evacuations Ordered in Reseda Over Natural Gas Leak

Thursday, September 5, 2019 (NBC4 Los Angeles) – Another natural gas line ruptured in Los Angeles County on Thursday. Evacuations were a necessary precaution while crews stopped the leak. SoCal Gas Company closed the leak shortly after 1 p.m., said the LAFD. “The natural gas fumes have dissipated, and LAFD hazmat experts have identified no ongoing concerns,” LAFD spokesman Brian Humphrey said. After the leaks, over two dozen homes were evacuated. “It is believed the damage was caused by a third-party contractor working in the area,” SoCalGas spokeswoman Melissa Bailey said. “No natural gas service outages have been reported at this time. We want to remind contractors, business owners and residents to ‘call 8-1-1 before you dig’ at construction sites or in the yard.”

Dwight Howard Calls 2nd Chance With Lakers ‘Big Blessing’

Wednesday, September 4, 2019 (NBC 4 Los Angeles) – Promising to have a new outlook on life and his future in basketball, Dwight Howard will be making a return to the Los Angeles Lakers. Howard’s hopes rest on changing the minds of Lakers fans, and a few of his contemporaries, who have grown to loathe the veteran center. Howard called the reunion, “a very big blessing.” As Dwight gushed publicly after signing his new contract, he said, “Not too often in life do you get second chances. This is an awesome experience. I’m just looking forward to being the best teammate, the best person in the community I can be. Six years ago doesn’t seem like a long time, but a lot of things have happened. I’m just excited.” However, Howard wasn’t the first choice for the Lakers, but has stated over and over again his dedication to the team and that he’s back up his words with actions.