Three solo vehicle crashes in just over three hours Monday morning reminded emergency response officials about the need to improve safety along the winding tree-lined Bouquet Canyon Road.
While aspects of the rural road continue to captivate the attention of Los Angeles County Department of Public Works officials, motorists driving too fast along the road are also to blame.
“We had three separate crashes up there this morning,” California Highway Patrol Josh Greengard told The Signal Monday morning.
“The cause for all three were driving too fast,” he said.
At least one of the three drivers was injured and rushed to the hospital.
The first of the three crashes happened at 5:34 a.m. Monday on Bouquet Canyon Road near mile marker 8.56, Greengard said.
The car reportedly hit a tree before plunging down an embankment.
“A solo Honda Civic went down the embankment approximately 100 feet,” he said, noting no injuries were reported.
At 7:10 a.m. on the same road, this time at Vasquez Canyon road, near Big Oaks Lodge, a solo Vehicle went into a ditch, Greengard said.
The driver was hurt and taken to the hospital, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Fire Department said.
Firefighters arrived at the scene at 7:40 a.m. and reported that a “single vehicle had spun out,” the Fire Department spokesman said.
The one patient was taken to the hospital at 8:33 a.m., he said.
Two hours after the second crash was reported on Bouquet Canyon Road, first responders were called back to the road for a third solo vehicle crash.
At 9:10 a.m., on Bouquet near mile marker 10.10, a blue Ford F150 truck crashed in what CHP were investigating as a single vehicle collision.
County officials began making changes to Bouquet Canyon Road since January 2016, in an effort to improve its safety.
The need for improvement came to the county’s attention following a solo vehicle crash that claimed the life of 19-year-old Elena Kramer, of Leona Valley, on Jan. 4, 2016.
In May, County officials announced the new traffic safety measures at a Leona Valley Town Council meeting in response to public calls for safety improvements.
They began their safety improvements by lowering the speed limit on Bouquet.
“There is a reduction in the posted speed limit to 45 miles per hour between mile marker 8.00 and mile marker 15.74,” Kerjon Lee told The Signal earlier this year.
Public Works crews also put up “changeable message boards to inform the public of road conditions,” Lee said.
They also posted warning signs, ‘slippery when wet’ signs, and signs that post a 30 mph speed limit in areas where water may flow across the road, he said earlier this year.
Public Works officials are also in the process of installing “recessed markers” in the roadway and guardrails at mile marker 8.84 and 9.95.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted in May 2016 to lower the speed limit on a section of Bouquet Canyon Road, one of several new traffic safety measures planned following two fatal accidents on the winding road in the last year.
RAINY ROAD CLOSURE
County officials revealed Monday that they will be closing Bouquet Canyon Road periodically over the next few winter months, whenever rain or the threat of rain occurs.
A light rain had been reported early Monday morning along Bouquet.
“We do plan on closing the road in advance,” Lee said Monday. “Whenever there is a sign of storms this season.’
Announcement of a road closure on Bouquet is expected to be made a “few days in advance,” Lee said.
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