2017-08-11 / Community

Motorist killed in solo crash

Incident marks fourth fatal collision in Simi Valley since Jan. 1
By Melissa Simon

A Long Beach man was killed in a solo vehicle crash over the weekend, marking the fourth fatal collision in Simi Valley this year.

Marcus Dooley, 39, was killed Sun., Aug. 6. when his vehicle crashed into a wash near the Tapo Canyon Road exit of the eastbound 118 Freeway, according to the California Highway Patrol Moorpark Division.

Around 2:15 p.m., the CHP received reports from a woman who said she could see from her backyard a 2013 Toyota Corolla with a male driver who appeared to be unconscious, authorities said.

When officers arrived on scene, they were initially unable to locate the vehicle from their position on the freeway. But after following up with the woman who reported the crash, officers found Dooley’s vehicle in a wash below the highway.

The Ventura County Medical Examiner’s office was called to the scene and Dooley was declared dead. There were no other injuries.

Just before 6 a.m. that same day, the CHP had received reports of a vehicle traveling westbound in the eastbound lanes of the 118 Freeway, said Officer Marco Marin of CHP’s Moorpark Division.

“We haven’t received many witness calls, as far as I know, that were able to substantiate whether the two cars are the same vehicle, and I can’t yet confirm if the two incidents are related,” he told the Simi Valley Acorn.

No lanes were closed during the investigation, although a large presence of responding officers caused traffic to be delayed for a period of time.

The CHP is still investigating the circumstances of the incident.

The Aug. 6 crash marks the fourth fatal collision in Simi Valley since Jan. 1, when off-duty Los Angeles Police Department Officer Heather Monroe, 30, was killed in an early-morning accident at the intersection of Sycamore Drive and Cochran Street.

On June 30, 19-year-old Andres Valadez, who was autistic, was killed while walking on the 118 Freeway near Rocky Peak Road.

Also on the 118 Freeway, 24-year-old Daniel Valencia Vaca of Moorpark and 63-year-old Christopher Lombard of Simi Valley were killed in a multiple vehicle collision July 29 near the Stearns Street exit.

Injured motorcyclist

In a separate incident Sunday, a motorcyclist was involved in a multiple-vehicle crash at Royal and Darrah avenues.

Around 12:30 p.m., the motorcyclist was stopped behind a vehicle headed eastbound on Royal at Darrah when another vehicle struck the bike from behind, said Simi Valley Police Cmdr. Stephanie Shannon.

“(That driver), who hadn’t noticed that traffic had come to a stop, collided into the rear of the motorcycle . . . forcing it into the vehicle in front of it, essentially sandwiching the motorcycle between the two vehicles,” Shannon said.

The motorcyclist, whose identity has not been released, was transported to Simi Valley Hospital to be treated for complaints of pain. Shannon said the person was released later that day and is recovering at home.

Alcohol and drugs do not appear to be factors in the collision, Shannon said. Police estimate the driver behind the motorcyclist was traveling between 25 and 30 miles per hour at the time.

“The police department would like to remind people that they need to remain vigilant while operating a motor vehicle and watch for other vehicles and pedestrians on the roadways,” the commander said. “When driving distracted, serious injuries or death can occur, and by simply paying attention and not removing your eyes from the roadway, numerous traffic collisions can be avoided.”

The accident closed the intersection for about 30 minutes while authorities investigated the incident. Motorists were temporarily rerouted to Los Angeles Avenue during the brief closure.

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