Local News

Wrong-Way Driver Arrested for DUI in 14 Freeway Pile-Up

AGUA DULCE, Calif. (KTLA) — A wrong-way driver accused of triggering a pile-up on the 14 Freeway was booked on suspicion of driving under the influence on Tuesday, police said.

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Crash on 14 Freeway near Escondido Canyon Road

Rick Allen Walker, 54, of Canyon County, was suspected of being under the influence of methamphetamine at the time of the crash, according to the CHP.

Walker was subsequently arrested, and was booked around 2 a.m. on Tuesday, records showed.

He was being held on $100,000 bail.

The crash happened around 4:35 p.m. on Monday in on the northbound 14, just south of Escondido Canyon Road.

Two CHP officers who were investigating an earlier collision spotted Walker heading the wrong way in his white Dodge pickup truck.

The officers estimated that his speed was about 85 mph, according to a CHP news release.

Walker collided head-on with another vehicle at Vasquez Rocks, starting a chain-reaction crash involving nine vehicles, CHP officials said.

A total of 13 people were injured, three of them critically. The critical patients were airlifted to Antelope Valley Hospital.

Walker was also taken to Antelope Valley Hospital to be treated for lacerations before he was booked.

The CHP released the names of some of the injured on Tuesday as the investigation continued.

Fernando Lopez, 48, of Lancaster, sustained a compound fracture to the left arm.

David Becker, 53, of Palmdale, and Maryann Looram, 59, also of Palmdale, both suffered broken backs. All three were admitted, CHP officials said.

Myisha M. Hatfield, 36, of Lancaster, suffered minor injuries and was not hospitalized.

Witness Andres Zenon, who was involved in the earlier collision, said the truck came within just a couple feet of him.

“I just turned around, looked at the truck, and I saw him like a movie, going through the traffic,” he said. “We’re just in shock. I’m really lucky, thank God I’m here.”

All northbound lanes were closed while rescuers responded to the crash. By about 7:50 p.m., all lanes had reopened.

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