Accidents claim four people in county

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Personal Injury News

Article Date: 3/29/2010 | Resource: External

Accidents claim four people in county

Four people died in four separate accidents in Ventura County on Sunday.

Greg Brodie, 61, was without a pulse when emergency personnel reached him inside a smoke-filled Ventura mobile home about 4:30 a.m. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Jennie Ortega, 90, was killed in a traffic collision in east Ventura just after noon.

An hour later in Oxnard, a woman was driving a van that accidentally hit and killed a 3-year-old boy.

And a few miles away, a water rescue team from the Oxnard Fire Department pulled Alan Carbajal, 19, of Oxnard unconscious from the ocean near Mandalay Beach Resort shortly after 4 p.m. He was taken to the hospital, but efforts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.

“Any time we have accidental deaths it’s unusual. It’s one of those things where we strive to do anything we can to keep it a safe environment,” said Capt. Stephen Wade of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department.

As the weather gets nicer, more people are going to be outside and headed into nature, and that can bring more dangers, he said.

The weather in Ventura County was warm, sunny and clear Sunday, and dozens of people were hanging out on the beach near Mandalay Beach Resort in Oxnard late in the afternoon.

The Oxnard Fire Department responded to a 911 call from family members reporting a missing swimmer there about 4 p.m. They said he had last been seen swimming in the ocean about 20 minutes before they called for help.

The Oxnard Fire Department’s Water Rescue Team was part of a group of 16 firefighters who responded to the call in the 2100 block of Mandalay Beach Road. A Ventura County Sheriff’s Department helicopter and an ambulance also responded.

Within two minutes of arriving on the scene, firefighters spotted someone floating face down in the water 20 to 30 yards offshore. Bystanders helped rescue swimmers pull the man from the water, but efforts to resuscitate him with CPR were unsuccessful.

He was taken to St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Oxnard where he was pronounced dead, authorities said. They did not know Sunday what led to the accident.

Authorities said a discarded cigarette left unattended started the fire in a mobile home in east Ventura early Sunday.

Greg Brodie, who used a wheelchair, was killed.

Another occupant of the home, George Verhulst, 71, was hospitalized in the intensive care unit at Ventura County Medical Center, where his condition Sunday afternoon was described as stable but serious. A third occupant and a neighbor suffered smoke inhalation.

The home, heavily damaged by fire and smoke, is in the 100 block of Fuchsia Place in Buenaventura Mobile Home Estates.

The Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office said Brodie’s cause of death was smoke inhalation.

Just after noon Sunday, Jennie Ortega of Ventura was driving southbound on Jazmin Avenue when her vehicle collided with a car driven by Roseanna Beronio, 29, also of Ventura, on Darling Road near Saticoy Elementary School in east Ventura, authorities reported.

The two streets form a T junction. There is a stop sign on Jazmin Avenue, but no stop signs on Darling Road.

Beronio was unhurt but Ortega died of her injuries, according to the Ventura Police Department.

Police closed Darling Road between Saticoy Avenue and Wells Road for several hours as they investigated the incident. Further details about the crash were not available Sunday.

In Oxnard, an hour later, a woman was driving a van that accidentally hit and killed a 3-year-old boy, police said.

The accident occurred at 1:34 p.m. in the 4900 block of South F Street, according to Oxnard Police Department reports

Luis Miguel Martinez was killed and an 11-year-old boy was injured when Estella Cruz Lopez, 19, of Oxnard pulled the van onto the lawn to wash it and inadvertently hit the gas pedal instead of the brake. The vehicle then apparently lunged forward and hit both boys, who were playing in the yard, police said.

Martinez was rushed to St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Oxnard, where he was pronounced dead. The 11-year-old was treated for a broken arm and released.

Officers say alcohol was not a factor in the accident, but said Lopez did not have a driver’s license. Police said they are continuing to investigate.

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Jeffrey Marquart