Reports of wild driving blamed on turning mishap

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Deputies who responded to a report of a driver allegedly speeding, weaving between lanes, driving on three wheels that caused sparks from a rim, crashing into several vehicles and driving into oncoming traffic Saturday in Saugus are still investigating, officials said Tuesday.

On Saturday, shortly before 8 p.m., the erratic behavior reportedly began on Bouquet Canyon Road, not far from Newhall Ranch Road, and continued to near Alamogordo Road, where a multi-car crash ended the trip.

Sgt. David Shoemaker, who heads the Traffic Unit of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, said the driver did not appear to be the victim of a medical problem.

“This was a four-car collision,” he said Wednesday.

“Deputies responding to the incident said it was not a hit-and-run and not a DUI,” he said, referring to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

“The cause, unofficially, was due to the driver making a turning movement,” Shoemaker said.

One witness said the motorist was “swerving in and out of lanes” and had “only three good tires, with a fourth tire that was just the rim. … Eventually, the driver crossed (the) center divider twice, eventually striking another car going the opposite way head on.”

A second motorist, who also witnessed the incident but did not want to be identified, said at one point, the car, despite driving on a wheel rim, accelerated and then lurched across the center median into oncoming traffic. 

The driver, who was not arrested or detained, suffered minor injuries, but was not taken to the hospital, according to Shoemaker. 

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