Fatal Accident on the 2, CHP Warns Drivers Against Distracted Driving
By Mary O’KEEFE
A fatal accident occurred on Sunday on the Glendale (2) Freeway northbound.
A woman, 71, of San Pedro had car trouble and was disabled in a lane of traffic. Her 45-year-old daughter was in the rear passenger seat, her 16-year-old granddaughter in the front passenger seat.
“Her flasher [emergency] lights were [activated] and it was broad daylight at 1:30 p.m.,” California Highway Patrol Officer Kevin Denmon said. “A [second vehicle] slammed into the disabled car.”
The driver of the second vehicle was a 31-year-old man from Duarte. The 45-year-old woman in the first vehicle died due to the results of injuries from the impact.
“The driver said he didn’t see the [disabled] vehicle. He was distracted in the car, talking to his passenger,” Denmon said.
He added this is an example of the dangers of distracted driving, any type of distraction.
As Distracted Drivers Month comes to an end, it is important for drivers to remember that although law enforcement has been concentrating on raising awareness of this dangerous practice in April, they will still be out in force looking for violators.
The statistics for this month’s citations are not available as yet, however in 2010 California Highway Patrol, statewide during the same time period, wrote about 145,000 citations. About 168,000 citations were written in 2011.
“The numbers are going up,” Denmon said.
Denmon works out of the Altadena CHP office but lives in the Inland Empire. Each day he commutes and sees several examples of distracted drivers.
“People putting on make up, texting, reading the paper,” Denmon said of distracted examples. “A lot of times [drivers] give themselves away. They weave [in the lane] or when there is stopped traffic, everyone else pulls away from them. A lot of times the driver’s head is down texting.”
Denmon said distracted drivers could cause more problems than just accidents.
A driver could be behind another vehicle and see that driver texting or on the phone. The distracted driver may hold up traffic and another driver sees him, or her, texting.
“That driver then gets angry and starts honking [his/her] horn, and now it’s road rage,” Denmon said.
Driving is something that requires complete focus and concentration, whether it is a trip to drop off a child at school or driving on the freeway.
“Driving requires 100% of your attention,” he added. “Don’t text, talk, read the paper, or [check your] Facebook.”
He wasn’t certain why drivers felt they had to answer the phone or text while driving. Most times, he added, the calls are not an emergency.
Accidents can occur when a driver takes his or her attention away from the road, even for a short amount of time.
“It is not worth it,” he said.
8 a.m. – 2 p.m. – Special Olympics at CV High School, field, 4300 block of Ramsdell
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. – Hometown Country Fair at CV Park, 3901 Dunsmore Ave.
7 p.m. – 7:45 p.m. – Luminaria Ceremony at Ocean View and Honolulu
7 p.m. – Ensemble concert at CVHS MacDonald Auditorium, 4400 Ramsdell Ave.
7 p.m. – Jazz band hosts ‘Spring Fling’ at CVHS cafeteria at Glenwood and Community.
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