Wrong-Way Accident in Santa Ana Blamed on Alcohol

Wrong-way accidents might be some of the least-represented accidents – only about 350 accidents per year are caused by wrong-way drivers according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The NHTSA also discovered that as many as half to three-quarters of those are caused by driving while intoxicated. In fact, in cases where blood-alcohol content was measured in the at-fault driver of wrong-way collisions, it usually measured at least .15, close to twice the legal limit. Additionally, the majority of these accidents occurred between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., which is another time when drunk driving accidents occur with more frequency. KTLA reports on a wrong-way driving accident that killed one person and seriously injured two others.

The California Highway Patrol believes that alcohol was a factor in a deadly wrong-way accident that occurred early last Friday.

At about 2 a.m., a CHP patrol unit spotted the wrong-way driver, only identified as a 30-year-old man from Lake Forest. He was driving a 2008 Toyota Camry on the northbound 55-Freeway connector with the 5-Freeway.

Attempts were made to stop the driver, who was going at speeds in excess of 100mph at times. Eventually, the driver crashed into another vehicle traveling in the opposite direction.

The other vehicle, a 2000 Ford Mustang, was identified as 33-year-old Michael Johnston, Jr., of Brea. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Johnston’s passenger, a 24-year-old woman from Burbank was taken to the hospital with critical injuries.

A passenger in the Camry was also seriously injured.

Neither of the passengers was identified.

The unidentified driver is expected to survive his injuries. He was arrested on charges of felony DUI and felony vehicular manslaughter.

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