Newport Beach : 6 Injured, 1 Critically, in 2 Coast Highway Crashes

Six people were injured, one critically, in two traffic accidents on West Coast Highway, Newport Beach police reported Sunday.

A driver and his three passengers were injured at 1:55 a.m. Sunday when their compact car, eastbound on the highway a half-mile west of Dover Drive, collided with a second car that pulled out from the curb and made a U-turn across traffic to head west, said Sgt. Mike McDonough.

The first car was damaged so severely by the impact that a hydraulic prying tool was used to extricate one of the passengers, Kirsten Byers, 18, of Washington state, police said.

The driver of the first car, Robert Lane Chandler, 19, and passenger Dean Duncan, 19, both of Newport Beach, were taken to Fountain Valley Community Hospital. Duncan was in critical condition and Chandler was in stable condition, according to hospital spokesmen.

The two other passengers, Byers and Patricia Gouldner, 17, of Costa Mesa, were taken to Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian. Byers was in stable condition, and Gouldner was treated and released.

The driver of the second car, Robert Allen Giem, 19, of Newport Beach, was not injured, police said.

The collision was observed by an on-duty officer, police said. No arrest was made or citation issued.

Late Friday night two people were taken to hospitals and a third person was arrested on suspicion of felony hit-and-run driving and felony drunk driving after a three-car accident in the 2300 block of West Coast Highway, McDonough said.

The suspect, Glenn Owens, 21, of Anaheim, was driving a pickup truck westbound in the number two lane about 11 p.m. when the car in front of him stopped suddenly in traffic, police said. Owens veered to the left to avoid the car and sideswiped a car driven by Paul Bouchard, 22, of Garden Grove, according to police.

The sideswiping caused Bouchard to enter the eastbound lanes of the highway, where he collided with a car driven by Paul Donaldson, 35, of Tustin, McDonough said. Donaldson was taken to Fountain Valley Community Hospital, where he was in serious condition. His passenger, Debra Windsor, 32, of Newport Beach, was treated at Hoag and released. Bouchard complained of ankle pain but sought his own treatment, police said.

Owens fled but was pursued by witnesses into Huntington Beach, McDonough said. He was arrested near Brookhurst and Hamilton, a couple miles from the scene of the accident, McDonough said.

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