Drunk Driver Causes Head-On Collision In Lake Elsinore

On Friday, Oct. 30, a woman was seriously injured when the vehicle she was driving in was smashed head-on by a drunk driver in Lake Elsinore.

At about 10:35 p.m. an off-duty Orange County Sheriff’s deputy called the Riverside County Sheriff’s Central Dispatch Center to report he was driving behind a vehicle he believed was being driven by a drunk or otherwise impaired driver.

The deputy reported seeing the vehicle swerving across lanes and driving very recklessly. The off-duty deputy reported the reckless vehicle was headed east on Riverside Drive in Lake Elsinore.

Deputies from the Lake Elsinore Police Station were immediately dispatched to try to intercept the reckless driver.

According to a Riverside County Sheriff’s Department press release, moments later, the off-duty deputy advised dispatchers he witnessed the vehicle cross into oncoming traffic near the intersection of Lash Street, and smash head-on with a car being driven westbound on Riverside Drive.

The unidentified off-duty deputy immediately began to render medical aid and comfort to those involved in the devastating head-on collision.

Upon arrival to the accident scene, deputies from the Lake Elsinore Police station identified the driver as Ted G. Chapman, a 55-year-old resident of Perris. Deputies’ investigation revealed Chapman, who was not injured in the collision, had been driving while under the influence of an intoxicant.

Chapman was subsequently arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence and causing a crash, which resulted in injury, a felony in the state of California. Chapman was later booked into the Southwest Detention Center.

An unidentified 44-year-old Lake Elsinore woman riding in the front passenger’s seat of the other vehicle suffered minor injuries and a loss of consciousness during the crash. She was transported to an area hospital for evaluation.

According to a sheriff’s department spokesperson, the surrounding streets were closed for more than two hours while deputies investigated the accident.

Anyone who witnessed the crash is encouraged to call immediately Officer Roberge at 951-245-3300. Callers can remain anonymous.

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com