CHP Traces Alcohol Role in Fatal Canyon Crash

Two of the three drivers involved in a fatal head-on collision on Laguna Canyon Road on Friday night may have been drunk, the California Highway Patrol reported.

The three-car accident on the accident-plagued highway killed two drivers and critically injured a passenger.

Keith Ring, 24, was booked on suspicion of drunk driving but was not held responsible for the accident, CHP Officer Steve Beeuwasaert said. Ring remains in Orange County Jail.

Beeuwasaert said hospital blood tests indicated that Ring's blood-alcohol level was 0.18%; the legal limit for driving is 0.10.

Beeuwasaert said Ring was on probation for three convictions of felony drunk driving and had a suspended driver's license. Two of the felony convictions were in June and November of 1986. The third conviction was issued last month, police records show.

Kelvin Price, 33, the driver believed to be responsible for the collision, was killed. Price's car veered out of the southbound lanes and into an oncoming van driven by Joe Tover, 59, of Placentia. Ring then plowed into Tover's van, Beeuwasaert said.

Hospital blood-alcohol tests indicated that Tover, who died Saturday of head injuries, had a blood-alcohol level of 0.07, but the test was taken after doctors had injected about 4 pints of fluids into Tover's body during efforts to save him.

The county coroner's office estimated that Tover may have been driving with a blood-alcohol level of about 0.12, Beeuwasaert said. An open container of beer was found on the floor of his van.

Tover's passenger, Edward De Los Reyes, 25, remains in critical condition at Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center in Mission Viejo.

Results from tests of Price's blood will be available in about a week, Beeuwasaert said.

For the Record Los Angeles Times Thursday March 10, 1988 Orange County Edition Metro Part 2 Page 2 Column 5 Metro Desk 2 inches; 69 words Type of Material: Correction Due to incorrect information supplied to The Times by the California Highway Patrol, a Feb. 24 story erroneously reported that Keith Ring, who was involved in a three-car collision on Laguna Canyon Road on Feb. 19, was on probation at the time for three convictions of felony drunk driving and was driving with a suspended license. In fact, Ring is on probation for one conviction of felony drunk driving, and DMV records indicate that Ring's driver license was valid at the time of the accident.
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