New information has surfaced regarding the Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy who crashed his patrol vehicle in Stevenson Ranch on Friday night, then left the scene before first responders arrived.
According to a statement from the Sheriff’s Information Bureau, the Special Enforcement Bureau deputy who was driving the vehicle was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence at approximately 3:45 a.m. on Saturday. The deputy was also relieved of duty.
“We are aware of the deputy who was involved in a solo vehicle traffic collision last night on Pico Canyon Road / Southern Oaks Drive in Stevenson Ranch. The deputy was located and was arrested for suspicion of driving while under the influence of alcohol,” read the statement. “He was later transported to Henry Mayo Hospital for evaluation, and it was determined he did not sustain any significant injuries from the solo-vehicle traffic accident. The deputy has been relieved of duty and due to the active investigation, we are unable to comment further.”
According to a source familiar with the situation, the deputy, Carlos Lopez, 50, reportedly left his gun, phone and other department gear in the crashed SUV.
The deputy was later found at his home nearby, according to the source familiar with the situation.
First responder radio traffic also indicated that the witness who reported the incident saw the deputy being assisted by someone else before leaving the Pico Canyon Road scene with apparent minor injuries.
According to the source familiar with the situation, the deputy crashed his patrol vehicle while on the way home from work and another off-duty deputy came to the scene and drove him to a nearby home.
Sgt. Magos with the Sheriff’s Information Bureau confirmed that the deputy involved with the crash was technically off duty and works with the Special Enforcement Bureau, a specialized unit in the Sheriff’s Department.
“These specialized units… until they get home, they’re considered off duty,” Magos said Friday night. “He was conscious and breathing, last we heard, and he was getting checked up by fire personnel and then he would be transported for followup to the local hospital.”
The Command and Control Center operator for the Los Angeles County Fire Department said Friday night that they were sent out to the crash scene, but there was no one there to be transported. The operator also refused to provide a name for reference.
The scene of the incident on Pico Canyon Road was closed off and was part of an “ongoing investigation,” according to deputies on the scene. There was an initial traffic jam due to the road being the only access to certain neighborhoods. Deputies escorted traffic along the opposite direction of the road to ease the jam and did so well into the night.
Lopez was released from the SCV Sheriff’s Station at about 11 a.m. on Saturday.