CHP Arrests El Toro Marine After Fatal Truck Accident
An El Toro Marine was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving and manslaughter Wednesday, after the truck he was driving careened off the Orange Freeway and plunged down a 100-foot embankment, killing a 21-year-old passenger.
Rodney Williams, 22, apparently of Texas, and Donald Zuber, 21, of Placentia, were going home from a country music concert in San Bernardino when the truck struck a curb on the Orange Freeway near Bastanchury Road, California Highway Patrol officials said.
“The vehicle went airborne and down an embankment,” CHP Officer Dan Wilbur said. “On the way down, the right passenger door hit a tree. The passenger was thrown out, his head hitting the tree, and pushed back inside the truck.”
CHP officers weren’t alerted to the accident until about 7 a.m., after Williams had managed to crawl up the embankment and had been seen wandering along the freeway. He suffered back and head injuries and was in stable condition at UCI Medical Center in Orange.
Williams told CHP investigators that he had two beers at the concert and was driving about 65 m.p.h. when the accident happened. No alcohol was found inside the truck, Wilbur said.
Williams is a U.S. Marine based at the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, Sgt. Chris O’Leary, a base spokesman, said. He is listed as an ordnance man in a fighter attack training squadron, O’Leary said.