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February 6, 2004
Andrew Edwards A Placentia man was killed Tuesday morning when the car he was riding in spun out of control and crashed into a tree on Laguna Canyon Road. The Orange County coroner's division identified the deceased passenger as 27-year old Mark Hering. The driver of the car was 20-year-old Josh Don Weidman, also of Placentia. He was driving a 1990 Lexus north on Laguna Canyon Road and lost control of his car on a turn about one mile north of the San Joaquin Toll Road, authorities said.
February 7, 2003
Mary A. Castillo A Laguna Beach man who had been snorkeling at Woods Cove died Wednesday after being taken to the hospital in full cardiac arrest. The victim, 49-year-old Richard Varner, had been snorkeling with a friend. Varner told his friend that his snorkel was leaking, Marine Safety Chief Mark Klosterman said. Moments later, the friend saw Varner struggling in the water. He pulled him out and shouted for help. A passerby stopped and began cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
February 7, 2013
Two Orange County men riding in a stolen car allegedly hit parked cars and a street pole at Pearl Street and South Coast Highway Sunday afternoon. Laguna Beach Police responded to the scene at 1:55 p.m. Eddie Reyes Martinez, 19, from Mission Viejo, and Jonathan Jesus Cordova, 18, from Laguna Woods ran from the scene, Laguna Beach Police Sgt. Louise Callus wrote in an email. Citizens in the area of Bluebird Beach and Coast Highway detained the men until officers arrived. Both men were injured and taken to Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, police said.
By Joanna Clay, | September 1, 2011
A Laguna Beach Police Department employee has sued the city, claiming a poorly maintained road is the reason she crashed her electric bicycle and suffered bodily injuries. In an April 4 civil complaint filed in Orange County Superior Court, Robin Ellen Levinson, a community services officer, says she was riding on Eagle Rock Way in South Laguna at 11:45 a.m. Feb. 15, 2010, when she struck a deformity in the road, which caused her to lose control and be ejected from her bike. The city of Laguna Beach filed a denial with the court July 8. Levinson, who was not working at the time, suffered a broken hip, shoulder fracture, abrasions and bruises, according to a report by the California Highway Patrol.
By Matt Szabo | January 29, 2010
Look closely and you can still see the two scars on Katie Averill’s forehead. The Laguna Beach resident is more used to talking about her cooking. The former owner of Mirabeau Bistro in Dana Point, she is now a corporate pastry chef for Balboa Dessert Co. Yet that day nearly 20 years ago, when she fell off a 50-foot cliff in Toledo, Spain, shapes her as well. “The locals said the best view of the city was to go up this path,” Averill said. “It got really gravelly and 50 feet up, like a cartoon, I just went off the side.
By Bryce Alderton | September 27, 2013
Hundreds turned out Friday to remember Laguna Beach officer Jon Coutchie, a man who, many recalled, always finished what he started, didn't make a big fuss about things and was serious yet had a witty side. The stories recounted by friends, family and colleagues elicited laughs through tears during the memorial held for the 41-year-old motorcycle officer at Mariners Church in Irvine. Coutchie died while on-duty late Saturday. He was riding his department motorcycle near South Coast Highway and Cleo Street when he hit the side of a pickup turning left.
By Barbara Diamond, | September 2, 2010
Traffic already moves too fast on Laguna Canyon Road, say city officials don't want to see it increased, particularly closer to town. The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to oppose three increases in speed limits proposed by Calrans for Broadway and stretches of the winding, heavily traveled road through the canyon, where speeding already occurs, city officials said. "I don't think we should encourage it," Councilman Kelly Boyd said. "There have been 40 accidents on the past three years between Canyon Acres and Forest Avenue, that police think are related to speed.
By Bryce Alderton | May 9, 2013
The push is on for a stoplight in front of Laguna College of Art + Design. The college's president and a nearby building owner petitioned Caltrans to install a traffic signal where the current crosswalk - which only has flashing lights - sits in front of the main campus at 2222 Laguna Canyon Road. "I've witnessed a number of fender benders," LCAD President Jonathan Burke said. "No one has been hurt, but there have been damaged cars. " Burke is working with a consultant in hopes of getting a traffic light installed at the two-lane road.
By Bryce Alderton | April 24, 2014
At the request of Laguna College of Art + Design's president, Caltrans and the city are looking at ways to speed up installation of a traffic signal along state-owned Laguna Canyon Road. LCAD President Jonathan Burke's request comes after 22-year-old Nina Fitzpatrick, a fine-arts student, died after she was hit by a car in the crosswalk at 8:45 p.m. April 3 in front of the main campus, at 2222 Laguna Canyon Road. Police said an 83-year-old Minnesota woman driving a Honda sedan struck Fitzpatrick, who lived in Costa Mesa.
By Dan Beighley | July 14, 2006
A 19-year-old Laguna Beach woman was killed in an early morning crash on Laguna Canyon Road between the dog park and animal shelter. Jamie Verst, 19, was driving south in a 1998 maroon-colored Honda Civic at an unknown speed when she apparently veered into the north lane and was hit on the passenger side by a 27-foot delivery truck driven by Higinio Soto, 53, of Orange, according to a preliminary police investigation into the accident. The crash happened at about 3:50 a.m. Thursday in the 20600 block of Laguna Canyon Road.
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