Gina Ferrazzi/Los Angeles Times
A tragic Southland highway accident scene where a CHP officer was struck and killed by an out of control car yesterday.
The first serious winter storm to swoop down on Southern California turned out to be a real doozie. The most powerful portion came through late Sunday and yesterday, but it’s not over yet. The Arctic storm came packing heavy rains, cold temperatures, snow, and hail; causing treacherous conditions that resulted in several injuries and two deaths.
On Monday, more than a dozen people were injured in Anaheim when a roof collapsed. Down in San Diego, one person was killed and another hurt when an armored truck flipped over on a wet highway. Early yesterday in Hacienda Heights, Joseph Sanders was killed when two vehicles collided on the 60 freeway and one of them crashed into the CHP officer. Sanders reportedly was putting out flares around another accident when he was hit.
Listening to traffic reports on the radio yesterday, I was just amazed at the numerous rain-related accidents and how often the reporters would say the drivers needed to slow down. When the first edge of the storm dusted the Southland with sprinkles on Saturday morning, I was driving from Burbank to Brea in Orange County. The freeways were wet and I was surprised at the wave of vehicles, small and large, that whipped past me at 70-plus miles per hour.
Every motorist knows the dangers of rain-slicked roads. Yet in the Southland, folks will ignore wet unsafe conditions and continue to drive like maniacs. No matter how many accidents occur, too many drivers here just refuse to lighten up on the gas pedal — even if it costs lives — sometimes their own.
We can’t control when and where the storms roll in, but motorists can reduce the number of rain-related traffic accidents by slowing their roll.