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Pair of unrelated accidents may have involved alcohol

July 30, 2001|By MARIO RENTERÍA, Staff Writer

WINTERHAVEN — Two unrelated accidents, possibly both involving drinking and driving, kept the California Highway Patrol office here busy Sunday.

Highway Patrol Winterhaven area Officer David Nuñez said Josefa Refugio Escalanti, 22, of Winterhaven was traveling east on Interstate 8 near the Buttercup Sand Dunes about 6:15 a.m.. when Escalanti's compact car veered off the road and she attempted to steer back onto the road but overcorrected.

Her vehicle rolled and came to rest on its side. Escalanti was wearing a seat belt. She suffered moderate injuries and was taken to Yuma Regional Medical Center.

Nuñez said the Highway Patrol may file a complaint against Escalanti with the District Attorney's Office for driving under the influence, depending on blood-alcohol test results. He said Escalanti showed signs of being under the influence after the accident.


Oscar Avalos, 27, was involved in a single-car rollover accident about 6:35 p.m. Sunday.

Investigators aren't sure where Avalos resides because he wasn't carrying any identification.

Nuñez said Avalos was traveling west on I-8 just east of Highway 98 when his vehicle drifted to the right. He tried to correct his path but was unsuccessful and his pickup rolled. He was not wearing his seat belt and was ejected from his truck.

He suffered moderate injuries. He was taken to the YRMC.

Nuñez said Avalos also may have been intoxicated. Charges may be filed, but that is dependent on a blood-alcohol test results.

Staff Writer Mario Rentería can be reached at 337-3435.

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