On January 12, a Fallbrook Taxi passenger sustained several injuries after the cab he was riding in was hit head-on by a catering truck that was being driven on the opposite side of the road near the intersection of East Fallbrook Street and MacDonald Road.
Roy Anguiano was being driven home from work by taxi driver John Hale at approximately 10:30 p.m. when they were struck by a catering truck driven by Jorge Alcaraz, 36.
According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), Alcaraz had a blood alcohol content level of 0.191, more than double the legal limit.
Alcaraz was traveling westbound on Fallbrook Street going about 35 miles per hour when he drifted into the eastbound lane, ultimately striking the taxi on the passenger’s side.
“It looked like <Alcaraz> was going to turn right, but instead he turned into me,” said Hale. “It’s not every day you have someone driving toward you in your lane.”
CHP Officer Eric Newbury said it was unclear as to whether Alcaraz was planning to turn onto MacDonald or if he simply drifted to the opposite side of the road.
Either way, Newbury said, Alcaraz “was definitely not paying attention.”
“The taxi driver and I saw that <Alcaraz> was in our lane and was about to hit the taxi, so I spread myself out on the back seat,” said Anguiano.
Anguiano was thrown against the front seat of the taxi and suffered lacerations on his face, among other injuries.
Hale was able to get out of the cab and call paramedics to the scene.
Anguiano was taken to Palomar Hospital trauma center for possible injuries to his head and neck. He required more than 15 stitches to his eyebrows and eyelids.
Hale was taken to Fallbrook Hospital for x-rays and a CT scan but was released.
Alcaraz also suffered minor injuries, including seatbelt-inflicted injuries and abrasions to the hands.
“<Alcaraz> kept getting in and out of the car to see if we were okay,” said Hale. “He was definitely drunk.”
Alcaraz was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and booked into the Vista Detention Facility with bail set at $100,000.
Because of Anguiano’s injuries, Alcaraz could face felony charges for driving under the influence, said Newbury.
“Cabs are cheap,” said Hale. “If you have to drink, please don’t drive.”
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