By Mary O’Keefe
A vehicle traveling southwest down Waltonia Drive about 3 a.m. on Wednesday crashed into a car that was parked on the street in the 1900 block with enough force to slam the car into a utility pole, then shoving it into the front yard of the car’s owner. The vehicle was then driven into a nearby driveway hitting another parked vehicle. The driver then backed out of the driveway and continued west on Waltonia until coming to a stop at the traffic light at Montrose Avenue.
The driver, a 25-year-old Montrose man, appeared to be under the influence of some type of medication, said a California Highway Patrol spokesman.
“This is the third time my car has been hit,” said Liz Langford, owner of the parked car that was hit.
All three times Langford’s car was damaged but this time, she said, was the worst.
“I am pretty certain it is totalled,” she said.
A neighbor said she heard a loud bang about 3 a.m. and ran outside. She saw Langford’s car in the front yard and the driver of the other vehicle backing out of the driveway.
“He had hit the car parked in the driveway and then smashed into the [nearby] juniper bush,” the neighbor said.
Langford also heard the noise and hurried out of her home. She saw her car and that the driver appeared to be trying to drive away.
“The other two times my car was hit the driver drove away,” she said.
The first hit and run the driver got away; the second time Langford said the woman driver was stopped because she appeared to be under the influence and couldn’t drive any further. This time as she watched the driver leave she began to chase him.
“We got his license plate number,” said the neighbor.
According to witnesses, the driver hit the curb near the Light on the Corner Church, coming to a stop at a red light at Montrose Avenue.
“I went up and started banging on his car door. I wanted to get his information but he [appeared] to be passed out,” she said.
The man was unresponsive when CHP arrived and he was transported to a local hospital.
Langford and her neighbors said they feel Waltonia is a dangerous street.
“People drive so fast down the road and around the curve,” Langford said.
Her neighbor added that residents had requested speed bumps or some type of warning system. The county did conduct a traffic study but determined that nothing needed to be done, said Langford.
“We have radar enforcement signs but no one comes out with a radar gun,” she said.
Many residents think that the CV Sheriff’s Station handles the traffic patrol along Waltonia Drive, however that is under the jurisdiction of CHP. CV Sheriff’s do patrol the area for crime such as vehicle and residential burglaries but all traffic issues have to go through CHP, said Sgt. Mark Slater, CV Sheriff’s.
“Speed is our number one issue throughout the community,” said Steve Goldsworthy, vice president of CV Town Council and co-chair of the streets and roads committee. He added Langford had contacted him for the first time on Wednesday.
“What we can do is interface with CHP and request a radar trailer and have the county look to see if signage to be improved,” he added.
Langford said it was lucky that no one was hurt during this accident however remembered the recent hit and run accident that tragically took the life of Joo Lee in Montrose.
“It is symptomatic of a basic carelessness of other people’s property, of other people’s lives that seems to be a pervasive attitude. And it is just wrong.”
CHP is still investigating the incident.