Two injured in crash, CHP
books driver, 18, for DUI
by Lenny Roberts
Two Meiners Oaks teens were taken to the Ojai Valley Community
Hospital Feb. 9 by ambulances following a single-vehicle collision
with a tree in the 500 block of Fairview Road just west of Camp
Jessie Lopez, 18, and his sister, Denise Lopez, 17, were transported
by Life Line paramedics after their 1993 Nissan Sentra left the
road at about 7:15 a.m. and rolled down a 30-foot embankment
before crashing into the tree. Firefighters had to use the Jaws
of Life to extract Denise Lopez, who suffered a 4- to 5-inch
head injury. Medical sources said she was upgraded from guarded
to stable condition Monday afternoon.
Jessie Lopez, the driver, complained of back pain, and was treated
at OVCH before being booked into the Ventura County main jail
on suspicion of driving under the influence.
Both occupants were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash,
according to California Highway Patrol Officer Steve Reid, who
said the CHP always preaches not to mix drinking and driving.
The penalties can be costly, especially for underage drinkers.
"This individual was determined to be driving under the
influence, got in an accident, and seriously hurt his sister,"
Reid stated. "In a situation like this, where a person is
underage, he's not permitted to drive with any alcohol in his
Reid did not reveal Lopez's blood-alcohol content, but explained
that when a person under 21 operates a motor vehicle with a BAC
of .01 - with .08 being the limit for those 21 and older - a
one-year, mandatory loss of driving privileges is invoked by
the state in addition to other penalties and fines.
© 2002 The Ojai Valley News
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USE the Jaws of Life to remove 17-year-old Denise Lopez from
a Nissan following a Sunday morning accident on Fairview Road.
Lopez sustained a 4-inch gash to her forehead and was transported
to Ojai Valley Community Hospital for treatment.