A 44-year-old motorist was arrested for suspicion of drunken driving because his pickup crossed into oncoming traffic in Santiago Canyon and caused a three-vehicle crash, the California Highway Patrol said today.
Prior to the crash, and according to witnesses, Anthony Menden, a resident of Trabuco Canyon, was speeding and swerving side to side in a 2012 Chevrolet Silverado, according to a news statement from the CHP.
The crash allegedly happened because Menden pulled out to pass a slower vehicle, and sideswiped an oncoming pickup-trailer combo, before swerving back and forth and then wiping out a power pole.
The crash was on Santiago Canyon Road, west of Silverado Canyon Road, and was reported to the CHP at 5:50 p.m. Friday. Menden was driving erratically east on Santiago Canyon Road when he steered into the opposing lanes to pass another eastbound vehicle, CHP investigators said.
A 32-year-old El Monte man was driving a westbound 2004 Chevy Silverado with trailer, and he swerved to avoid a head on collision with Menden. Menden's truck crashed into the left side of the trailer.
Menden then lost control of his pickup, which swerved to the right, then to the left. It struck a wooden power pole on the north side of Santiago Canyon Road, and sheared it off the base.
But the pole remained vertical, suspended by the utility lines.
A third vehicle -- a 2012 Mazda 3 -- was struck by crash debris from the first collision.
Paramedics rushed Menden to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana, where he was treated for moderate injuries. There were no other reported injuries.
Santiago Canyon Road was closed in both directions for approximately three hours while Southern California Edison crews shut down power to the pole and removed live wires left dangling as a result of the crash.
--City News Service