Adds video with suspect’s name, evidence gathered
California Highway Patrol officers arrested a suspect involved in a “highly publicized highway violence incident,” officials said Wednesday.
Andrew Flanigan, a 45-year-old stage technician who lives in Arleta, was arrested about 5:40 p.m. Tuesday by California Highway Patrol investigators on the strength of the warrant issued for his arrest in January.
His bail has been set at $110,000.
Prosecutors with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office charged Flanigan with a total of three criminal charges Jan. 10, including: hit and run driving causing injury; assault with a deadly weapon, “to wit,” a knife; and reckless driving on a highway causing bodily injury after having a prior conviction, D.A.’s Officer spokesman Ricardo Santiago told The Signal on Wednesday.
The original road rage allegation stemmed from a June 21, 2017, incident that took place about 5:45 a.m. on the southbound lanes of Highway 14, near Newhall Avenue.
A motorist in a Nissan was traveling southbound on the highway in the carpool lane, according to a 2017 interview with CHP Officer Josh Greengard.
At the same time, a motorcyclist operating a “Harley Davidson type” of motorcycle was also traveling southbound, also inside the carpool lane, to the left of the Nissan.
A third motorist, driving a Cadillac Escalade pickup truck, was traveling on the southbound lanes of Highway 14 in the lane next to the carpool lane.
The motorcyclist and Nissan driver “engaged in an altercation within the HOV lane on southbound SR-14, at Newhall Avenue,” Greengard said.
“From the road rage incident, the Nissan (driver) lost control of the vehicle where it collided into the center divider. After hitting the divider, the Nissan was deflected into southbound traffic #2 lane (next to the carpool lane) and broadsided the Cadillac, which caused it to overturn,” he said.
The driver of the Cadillac suffered moderate injuries from the crash and was taken to Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital while the motorcyclist fled the scene.
The Cadillac driver, Carlos Benavidez, was 75 at the time of the crash and, despite some aches and pains, has recovered from injuries suffered in the crash, according to daughter-in-law, Kris Benavidez.
“He’s doing well,” Kris Benavidez told The Signal Wednesday. “But, he still has some residual effects. Overall it could have been much worse.”
“He had cuts and lacerations to his head and hands, and some injuries to his leg and knee,” she said.
The Benavidez family, she said, learned from CHP investigators in July that they had identified a suspect in the kicking incident.
“We are very grateful to the CHP for their thorough and exhaustive investigation,” Benavidez said.
The motorcyclist who fled the scene at the time of the crash was arrested Tuesday evening at 5:40 p.m., according to a CHP a news release.
CHP officials plan to release additional details about the suspect and charges filled at a press conference Wednesday.
On Twitter @jamesarthurholt