CHP Has Just the Ticket for Soon-to-Be Father Speeding His Wife to Hospital
A man who rushed his expectant wife to the hospital just before Christmas barreled past a California Highway Patrol car and honked his horn, expecting an escort, but instead got a speeding ticket at the hospital.
Bob Tovar, 30, a car salesman, barreled down the Riverside Freeway at 90 m.p.h. early Thursday in his Fiat X-19, concerned that his wife, Christine Lynett, might have the child before they reached the hospital.
He honked his horn as he sped by a CHP car, thinking he would have an escort for the rest of the trip to Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Anaheim.
But after Lynett gave birth to a girl, Arianna Grace Lynett Tovar, Tovar was greeted outside the delivery room by Officer Susan Coutts, who gave him a ticket for speeding.
Tovar said he could not believe that she gave him a ticket.
“I thought their function was to be of service and help us,” he said.
But Officer R.V. Allen, the desk officer in charge of the CHP’s Santa Ana office, said the Highway Patrol is concerned that fathers-to-be who are driving 90 m.p.h. are “focused emotionally on their problem, and they don’t realize they’re creating a problem.”
“We wind up looking like Scrooges,” Allen said. “But we have the whole picture, the whole freeway in mind. We’re trying to keep everybody safe.”
Allen said the public perception that the CHP will provide a highway escort to expectant families is wrong.
“If an untrained person is driving, and we’re escorting and there’s an accident, the liability goes right back on the state,” he said.
Tovar, who lives in Highland in San Bernardino County, said he did not think he endangered anyone as he drove the 50-mile distance to the hospital, even at 90 m.p.h.
‘Not That Fast’
“Everybody cooperated. I had my flashers on and was in the fast lane mostly. Everybody cooperated but the CHP. . . . I told them I thought they’d escort me. They said they might but not that fast,” he said, adding that he plans to fight the ticket.
Arianna, meanwhile, weighed 7 pounds when she was delivered at 1:43 a.m. Thursday. The baby and mother are both doing fine.