A suspected intoxicated motorcyclist, riding with a revoked driver license after six previous drunk-driving arrests, struck and seriously injured a pedestrian in Huntington Beach on Saturday--at the same intersection where a motorist struck and seriously injured three pedestrians two nights earlier, police said.
The latest accident happened at 6:30 p.m. as 43-year-old Saturnina Galvez, 43, of Huntington Beach stepped into the street to cross Beach Boulevard at Cypress Avenue, police said. As she attempted to cross Beach from east to west, motorcyclist Ernest Reyes Alvarado, 38, of La Mirada struck her at what witnesses said was an excessive rate of speed in the northbound lane, Sgt. Barry Case said.
The impact nearly severed the woman’s leg, Case said. Galvez was rushed to Fountain Valley Regional Hospital and Medical Center, where she was listed in serious condition and undergoing emergency surgery late Saturday.
Alvarado was taken to the same hospital for treatment of numerous lesser injuries, Case said. Heavily intoxicated and uncooperative with officers, Alvarado was arrested on suspicion of felony drunk driving and was to be transported to Orange County Jail after his discharge from the hospital, Case said.
In their investigation, police discovered that Alvarado was riding with a revoked license after having been arrested six times for drunk driving. Police also discovered that there was a $3,000 bench warrant against Alvarado for failing to appear in court on one of the drunk-driving arrests, and that the Kawasaki he was riding was not registered.
Case said Alvarado had taken a license plate from another legally registered motorcycle and put it on the Kawasaki. Case said it has not been determined whether Alvarado owns the Kawasaki, which he described as a high-performance “cafe racer.”
Case noted that the accident could have been worse because several other pedestrians were preparing to step into the street behind Galvez, who was the first to try and cross.
The woman’s husband, Eulalio Tequamapa, 49, said he and his wife were crossing the street with their 3-year-old son. Tequamapa, reached at the family’s apartment late Saturday, said they had gone out to see a movie and were walking to their home less than a mile away when the accident happened.
“I was walking in front of my wife, with the child, when she was struck by the motorcycle,” Tequamapa said.
Tequamapa said his wife’s most serious injury involved her right leg. Otherwise, he said, “she is more or less good.”
Tequamapa expressed concern, however, as to how the family would pay the medical bills for Galvez’s treatment because he was laid off from his furniture-making job two months ago. An immigrant from the Mexican state of Puebla, Tequamapa said that he has been unable to find work. He said he has been in this country for four years.
He added that his wife had been caring for their 3-year-old and two other children, a boy, 5, and a girl, 9.
“I guess I will need to find a lawyer,” Tequamapa said.
On Thursday night, three men, attempting to run arm in arm across Beach Boulevard from the opposite side of the same intersection, were struck by a young driver on her way home from work, Case said. He said the driver was not cited because the men were intoxicated and ran out in front of traffic in the intersection, which has no crosswalk or signal.
Those victims--identified by police as Hermelo Bello Medieta, 24, and Ruben Meneses Pluma, 24, both of Huntington Beach, and Jose Luis Bello, whose age and address were unknown--were taken to Fountain Valley Regional Hospital, where they remained in serious condition Saturday.
Police said the men were fortunate not to have been killed because they were struck by three or four cars altogether.