A Canyon Country man suspected of being under the influence of methamphetamines was arrested after 13 people were injured in collision on state Route 14 Monday, according to police reports.
Rick Allen Walker, 54, entered the northbound lanes of state Route 14 traveling southbound from Escondido Canyon at approximately 3:35 p.m.
“I was driving home on the southbound side of the road, and I saw the guy driving southbound on the northbound” said a witness, who prefers to remain anonymous.
Walker passed two California Highway Patrol officers who were working a traffic collision on the right shoulder of northbound state Route 14. The officers estimated Walker was going 85 mph.
“I saw the guy speed up, and the police officers off to the side dealing with another accident,” said the witness, “He swerved to avoid the police officers and head-on collided with oncoming cars.”
Walker collided with a man driving a Dodge 2500 near Vasquez Rocks. This collision started a chain reaction collision involving a total of nine vehicles.
“There were tires and tools and parts of cars flying everywhere,” said the witness.
There were a total of 13 injuries sustained, three of which were considered to be critical injuries. All other injuries were considered minor.
Fernando Lopez, 48, a Lancaster male, sustained a compound fracture to the left arm.
David Becker, 53, a Palmdale man and Maryann Looram, 59, a Palmdale woman both sustained broken backs.
Lopez, Becker and Loorman were were airlifted to Antelope Valley Hospital by a Los Angeles County Fire Department Helicopter.
Walker was suspected of being under the influence of methamphetamine at the time of the collision, and was subsequently arrested for driving under the influence of drugs causing injury.
Walker has not yet been released from the hospital, but will be booked into the Los Angeles County Jail when he is.
– David Mariuz