Originally posted at 6:14 p.m. Feb. 22, 2014. Edited at 8:29 p.m. to add more details, photos. Edited at 11:47 p.m. with the suspect's name. Edited at 10:53 a.m. Feb. 23, 2014 to add more photos.
A driver suspected of DUI went on an accident spree around 2 p.m. today through the streets of Lake Forest, ultimately involving eight vehicles and sending three -- including the alleged culprit -- to the hospital.
The streets were particularly packed with cars and residents at the second accident scene, near Heroes Park, where it was opening ceremony for Little League, said Capt. Steve Concialdi of the Orange County Fire Authority.
The first crash was a hit-and-run involving a Volkswagen SUV on El Toro Road near the I-5 Freeway, said Lt. Paul Fuzzard of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
The driver – Joseph Paxton, 35, residence unknown – made his way to Los Alisos Boulevard, where he careened over the median between Muirlands Boulevard and Jeronimo Road, and hit a “couple of more cars,” he said.
Other cars crashed trying to avoid him, Fuzzard said.
The driver then returned to the eastbound side of Los Alisos and rolled his vehicle, Fuzzard said. Altogether, there were seven vehicles involved in the second series of crashes.
Two people, a man and a woman, were sent to the hospital, Fuzzard said.
Concialdi said one of those injured was a 47-year-old father, who had just left the ballfield with his 5-year-old son playing his first season in Little League. The man suffered a hand laceration and other injuries. He was taken to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana.
A 58-year-old woman was taken to Mission Hospital's trauma center with chest injuries and injuries to a wrist and arm, Concialidi said.
The suspect was also taken to the hospital for observation, Fuzzard added.
Fuzzard said the victims were fortunate to have escaped with only moderate injuries.
“We were lucky. Everyone was very lucky,” he said.
City News Service contributed to this report.