No Charges Yet In Flower Patch Crash

The guardrail is wiped out in a solo vehicle crash. Witnesses say the car was going as fast as 100 mph.

The "Road Closed" signs are hard to miss. Most of the the guard rail is missing. A wooden post in line with traffic safety cones is worse for wear. Broken glass 60 feet into the open field—the flower patch—at the end of Antonio Parkway across from is an easy reminder of the moment.

Charges still have not been filed against a Laguna Niguel woman at the wheel of a car that set off a chaotic scene at Antonio Parkway and Las Flores two weeks ago. However, if witness accounts are correct—that the 27-year-old woman was going as fast as 100 mph when she went through the stop sign, the intersection and the guard rail—then charges may be just a formality.

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"A driver with minor injuries complained of pain and abrasions," said Lt. Brian Schmutz, chief of police services for the city of Rancho Santa Margarita. "We're investigating possible reckless driving and DUI."

The vehicle landed on its driver's side, and the woman—trapped inside the car—had to be extricated with the jaws of life by Orange County Fire Authority. She walked to a gurney before being taken to Mission Hospital. According to Schmutz, she was the sole occupant of the vehicle in the July 27 crash.

Schmutz said that witnesses reported the car went against the red lights at traffic signals on Antonio before finally crashing into the guard rail, which still had not been fixed by the city as of late last week.

He said Orange County Sheriff was waiting on toxicology results to complete its investigation.

Chris McLaughlin August 13, 2012 at 03:44 PM
Did she totally take out that wooden board with all the signs on it? I don't see it at all anymore in your pictures...
Cheri Miller August 13, 2012 at 09:12 PM
That Kiosk has been gone for MONTHS - if not a year. And there used to be a geocache there too - Second time the guard rails have been destroyed... that we know of.
Danny Jones August 14, 2012 at 04:21 AM
Umm, time for 3' thick concrete barriers!!
Cheri Miller August 14, 2012 at 01:40 PM
Great Idea Danny!
Martin Henderson August 14, 2012 at 07:42 PM
My guess is that a concrete barrier—aside from making worse the sight lines into the field—would have created a much messier situation than existed, and instead of talking about filing charges against the driver we might be talking about a eulogy. Hitting a concrete barrier at 100 mph (and, actually, less than 100 mph) could likely cause a basal skull fracture (it killed Dale Earnhardt). Although I'm not 100 percent sure of the science, I believe this could happen even with bags deployed; people run into trees all the time and die. Concrete barrier's going to create the same problem. That's my analysis of the 3' thick concrete barrier argument.


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