The mayor of Murrieta was arrested on suspicion of driving while under the influence of alcohol Thursday night after he was involved in an accident that left four local teenagers injured, police said.
Alan Long, 44, was booked on suspicion of DUI causing bodily injury. The teens, ranging in age from 14 to 17, were all students at Murrieta Valley High School. They sustained moderate to major injuries and were transported to local hospitals for treatment, according to a statement from Murrieta police.
The accident occurred around 8 p.m. at the intersection of Jefferson and Lily avenues when the truck Long was driving slammed into the back of a passenger vehicle carrying the four teens, according to police.
Long was the sole occupant of the truck, and officers determined that he showed signs of alcohol impairment, which police said was confirmed by a field sobriety test.
The accident comes with just weeks to go before Long faces reelection to the Murrieta City Council.
Long also serves as a battalion chief for Anaheim Fire & Rescue, overseeing emergency management and preparedness for the city.
"This is certainly very much out of character for Alan Long," Murrieta Councilman Rick Gibbs told the Riverside Press-Enterprise. "I've been at a number of social events with Alan over the years, ... and I've never seen him take a drink."
According to the Press-Enterprise, Long's account of what happened differed slightly from the police statement:
Gibbs said he talked to Long on Friday morning, and that Long — who works as an Anaheim fire battalion chief — promptly helped the injured teens out of the car and onto a street curb, while help was en route.
Gibbs said he expects Long to be vindicated, because Long told him that a field breathalyzer test indicated a blood-alcohol level below the legal limit.
Long was booked at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta and held on $50,000 bail. His first scheduled court appearance is Dec. 11.