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Cop Chase Ends in Fatal DUI Crash in Garden Grove

While DUI crashes are not fun for the parties involved, sometimes they’re stressful for the cops who respond to them, especially when they involve serious injuries or fatalities. Cops are human too and dealing with horrific accidents are just one of the reasons why alcoholism in law enforcement is such a widespread problem.

What about the cop chases that turn deadly? You can bet that the officers involved are affected. They go back to the station, hang up their gear and when they get home, they hold their spouses and children a little closer that night.

DUI Suspect Flees Police

On Sunday (Dec. 6), an attempted traffic stop ended in a car erupting in flames and one fatality. It all started on the 5 freeway just south of the 22 freeway at about 1:30 a.m. A 2000 Honda Accord was allegedly speeding when a California Highway Patrol officer tried to pull the driver over, but the officer was unsuccessful.

When the Accord wouldn’t pull over, it turned into a chase that lasted a few minutes before the Accord crashed into a Toyota Camry near the Chapman Avenue exit. The impact of the collision sent the Accord careening into a utility pole and concrete wall in Garden Grove before the Honda exploded in flames.

A CHP sergeant and Garden Grove Police officer used a fire extinguisher and were able to save the driver and two of his passengers, said CHP Officer Florentino Olivera. Unfortunately, the flames got too hot and the officers were unable to save a third passenger.

A. Villa, 21, of Santa Ana, died at the scene of the crash.

Two other passengers, A. Chavira, 19, and Saul Chavira, 22, of Santa Ana, were hospitalized. The driver, D. Orepeza, 29, of Santa Ana, was hospitalized at Long Beach Memorial Hospital, and kept under guard. Orepeza was arrested for felony evading, and suspicion of drunk driving, OC Weekly reported.

Looking for an Orange County DUI lawyer? Call the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. for a free consultation with a Board Certified DUI defense specialist.