Court hears about injuries suffered in last summer’s wild ride on Bouquet Canyon

The Santa Clarita Courthouse. KATHARINE LOTZE/Signal.
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A Saugus man who received a probationary sentence for hit and run and for driving under the influence of alcohol in connection with a wild ride witnessed in Saugus last summer appeared in court Wednesday to make restitution.

Jeffrey Mark Brown, 69, who pleaded no contest to both misdemeanors in October, appeared Wednesday at the Santa Clarita Courthouse.

Judge Gary Micon asked lawyers for documents pertaining to injuries suffered by Lorenzo Martinez-Mendoza, of Newhall, during a traffic collision in August, and, specifically, for documents pertaining to the cost of medical treatment for those injuries.

Restitution is court-ordered payment of crime-related expenses paid to a victim by a convicted offender. 

Defense lawyer Noel Leon told the judge Martinez-Mendoza was still undergoing medical treatment.

“Mr. Brown has accepted liability, and is ready and willing to pay,” she added, noting Brown’s insurance company has already settled a claim in the case.

Deputy District Attorney Cristian Ochoa told the judge the injured driver had previously provided documents to the court relating to the treatment of his injuries.

Micon scheduled a second restitution hearing for May 5, when he is expected to review all the documents in determining the appropriate restitution.

Martinez-Mendoza was injured Aug. 3, at the end of a wild ride through Saugus, along Bouquet Canyon Road, from Newhall Ranch Road to Alamogordo Road, as many motorists were making their way to Central Park for Concerts in the Park.

On that day, first responders received word of a motorist speeding, weaving between lanes and driving on three wheels, which caused sparks from a rim, crashing into several vehicles and driving into oncoming traffic.

On Oct. 2, Brown pleaded no contest to hit and run and pleaded no contest to driving under the influence of alcohol with a blood alcohol level over 0.08%.

On that day, prosecutors dismissed two other charges — a charge of public intoxication for an incident that happened on July 31, and a charge of simple DUI.

With regards to the hit-and-run conviction, Micon sentenced Brown to three years’ probation, ordered him to perform 10 days of community service and told him to make restitution for the damage he caused.

On the DUI conviction, Micon sentenced Brown to three years’ probation, and ordered him to enroll in a three-month alcohol-education program.

On Wednesday, Leon told the judge that Brown had completed the three-month program.

Micon then asked about his sentence calling for court-ordered community service.

“I’m going to start that soon,” Brown told him.

Micon said he expects to hear about progress on the commitment to community service in May.

Reached outside of court after the hearing, Martinez-Mendoza said he underwent surgery on Nov. 5, to correct injuries to his right leg.

Since the crash, he said, he’s been unable to work.

“I do landscaping and construction,” he said. “But, obviously, I can’t work. I really can’t do anything.”

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On Twitter: @jamesarthurholt

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