Perhaps the most egregious drunk driving incident of the Cinco de Mayo weekend came early on out of East L.A., when a man behind the wheel of his parked car awoke out of a drunken stupor, started the car and drove off -- and proceeded to injure four people, damage six vehicles and generally wreak havoc on the neighborhood.
According to Sgt. David Holwager of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, several calls came in at about 2:15 p.m. Thursday after witnesses spotted a man asleep behind the wheel of his white Chevy Tahoe -- apparently passed-out drunk -- near Clara Park in Cudahy. Even as dispatchers were typing in the information, however, the man woke up and drove away -- immediately slamming into two parked cars and sideswiping a third vehicle on the 4800 block of Clara Street.
But he wasn’t done there. The driver, identified only as a “male Hispanic,” continued on even when sheriff’s deputies caught up to him on Atlantic Avenue -- “driving erratically, with noticeable collision damage” -- and tried to pull him over. He refused, authorities say, instead blowing through two red lights.
According to sheriff’s deputies, the man’s luck ran out at Atlantic and 55th Street where he smashed into two more cars. With the Tahoe finally disabled, deputies were able to arrest the driver.
Three people in the other vehicles -- two males and a female -- sustained “minor to moderate” injuries in the final three-way crash, Holwager said in his report. The driver sustained minor injuries as well.
And of course his Tahoe -- along with a few other cars -- was totaled.
The man was booked in the East L.A. Sheriff’s Station for a number of felony charges including felony drunk driving, authorities said.