A Look Back At The Five Lives Lost In 2012 From Santa Monica Car Accidents
Posted Dec. 23, 2012, 1:21 am
Brenton Garen / Editor-in-Chief
Five innocent lives were lost in car accidents within Santa Monica city limits during 2012, according to the Santa Monica Police Department.
As of Dec. 21, SMPD Sgt. Richard Lewis said there were 115 reported injury collisions involving pedestrians in 2012, which was at 114 this time last year.
There were 120 reported injury collisions involving bicycles in 2012, which was at 130 this time last year, Lewis said.
Here is a look back on the five tragic car accidents this year that involved three pedestrians, a motorcyclist, and a bicyclist.
-- On Aug. 21, Westchester resident Cara Cameron, 26, struck and killed Australian tourist Gary Mara in the 300 block of Colorado Avenue.
Mara, along with his wife Julianne and eight-year-old daughter Olivia, were at the north sidewalk on the 300 block of Colorado near Santa Monica Place at the pedestrian crosswalk at 8:15 p.m. and started to cross despite the solid red “Don’t Walk” sign.
Mara was struck by Cameron's vehicle being driven eastbound on Colorado Avenue. He succumbed to his injuries shortly after the collision.
Following an investigation, Cameron was arrested for driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter.
Cameron now faces three charges, including driving under the influence, vehicular manslaughter, and one count of murder as a result of her previous 2007 conviction for an alcohol-related traffic collision.
-- On July 1, Deborah Taft (Arellano), 54, was struck at 10:30 p.m. at the corner of Lincoln Blvd and Ashland Avenue by a 65-year-old male resident of Santa Monica who was traveling southbound on Lincoln Blvd and made a left turn onto Ashland Avenue.
She sustained major head injuries and was transported to a local trauma center with massive brain damage. The team at UCLA Medical Center worked on her through the night until she was stable. Around 9 a.m. Monday, July 2 she slipped into a coma where she later succumbed to her injuries.
-- On July 16, Santa Monica resident Claire Rose, 30, was killed in a crash at 12:16 a.m. at the intersection of 21st Street and Wilshire Boulevard in a hit-and-run.
The suspect vehicle was described as a black 2009 or 2010 Toyota Corolla S.
Rose was walking north on 21st street, crossing Wilshire Boulevard in a designated crosswalk, when she was hit.
But instead of stopping to help, the Toyota driver kept zooming west on Wilshire. From there, police gathered that the vehicle turned right on 15th Street and right on California before disappearing into the night.
-- On July 10, cyclist Erin Galligan, 30, from Venice was struck and killed in a hit-and-run at 11:13 p.m. on the 200 block of Pacific Coast Highway near Entrada Drive in Santa Monica.
The suspect vehicle was described as a 1999 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Extra cab truck, white in color, with damage to the front grill, hood, and headlight assembly.
Both the vehicle and the cyclist were traveling in the southbound lane.
Based on statements from witnesses, the Galligan swerved into the middle of the lane for unknown reasons, and was subsequently struck by the suspect vehicle as it passed. Galligan succumbed to her injuries at the scene of the collision.
The driver fled the scene last seen heading east on the 10 Freeway.
-- On February 24 at 12:20 pm, the Santa Monica Police Department responded to a traffic collision in the 1900 block of Pico Boulevard involving two motorcycles and a vehicle.
The two motorcycles were traveling at a high rate of speed while splitting traffic westbound on Pico Boulevard from Cloverfield.
As the two motorcycles neared the intersection of Pico and 20th Street, a 2005 Ford Expedition being driven by a 41-year-old female, began making a left turn onto 20th Street from Eastbound Pico Boulevard.
Due to the speeds in which the riders of the motorcycles were traveling at, they were unable to stop or maneuver around the vehicle and one of the riders struck the rear passenger side of the Expedition while the other laid his motorcycle down on the roadway to avoid a collision.
The motorcyclist who struck the vehicle suffered severe head and body trauma and was transported to a local trauma center in critical condition. He was later identified as 22-year-old Los Angeles resident, Frank Gauthier. On March 12, 2012 Gauthier succumbed to his injuries.