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2013 starts with a bang

Emergency responders usher in 2013 with shattered windows, dual injury accidents

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Posted: Wednesday, January 2, 2013 12:01 am

Lake Havasu City emergency responders kicked off the New Year with shattered windows, an ejected driver and a rampant alleged drunk driver — all within the first 45 minutes of 2013.

MIDNIGHT EXPLOSION

A gas bomb, which was part of the annual Uptown Countdown on Main Street event’s fireworks finale, shattered windows to a handful of businesses just after midnight New Year’s Eve.

Battalion Chief Mike Quijada, of Lake Havasu City Fire Department, said the explosion was the highlight of the event reporting fire crews stationed at the event responded to just one medical call.

“Other than that thing that scared the crap out of everybody,” Quijada said of the explosion.

Fire Captain Tim Maple, who was stationed at the event with his crew called the explosion “unexpected” during a telephone interview Tuesday.

Maple and fellow firefighters were about 20 yards from the fireworks display, and about 50 yards from the windows that were shattered.

“It was surprising, definitely unexpected,” Maple said. “We felt the compression and felt the heat wave from the intensity of it.”

Revelers were taken back and initially concerned by the unexpected boom. Firefighters at Fire Station No. 5 on Lake Havasu Avenue and at Fire Station No. 1 on South Acoma Boulevard reported hearing the explosion.

“Nobody really heard the windows break,” Maple said.

Maple said his crew responded to one medical call at a local bar about 8 p.m. Monday during the event, but it was unrelated to the Main Street event.

Lake Havasu City Police Sgt. Terry Eyestone said the damaged window were of Peach’s Salon, Rosie’s Alterations and of an empty business located at the corner of Querio Drive and McCulloch Boulevard.

Eyestone said unofficial damage estimates of the plate windows could be in the range of several thousand dollars.

“It was really mellow,” Eyestone said of the street party. “It was real slow. There were no problems downtown at all.”

Event organizer Eden Rudin said about 2,500 tickets were sold, which is about 1,500 less than last year’s event.

“Attendance didn’t quite meet expectations, but the event was great,” she said. “And the street performers stole the show.”

Rudin said the Kids Zone of the street party was popular. She also reported about $4,800 was spent on the event’s two fireworks shows. One was at 8 p.m., the other at midnight.

EJECTED DRIVER

At 12:14 a.m. police responded to a single-vehicle crash in the 2000 block of South Jamaica Boulevard. A smashed car was located with no driver. Police cancelled fire department services noting the driver had left the scene, Quijada said.

At 12:24 a.m. a Cadillac barreled at high speeds through the accident nearly struck police on scene. The Cadillac’s driver lost control, crashed into landscaping near the first accident and came to rest about 20 feet north of the first vehicle, according to police reports.

During the second accident, a tire flew from the Cadillac and struck the back of a police officer, taking him, uninjured, to the ground. It was then the officer noticed the victim of the first crash, who had been ejected into landscaping from his small compact vehicle, Quijada said.

Police reports stated the man was about 20 feet from the vehicle.

At 12:33 a.m. local fire department firefighters and medics were re-dispatched to the accident scene to treat the injured, ejected man.

“It smashed the heck out of the car, and ejected the driver,” Quijada said. The man was the sole occupant of the vehicle in the first crash.

Police didn’t immediately have the man’s identity or details of his condition Tuesday. Police did say the man was air-lifted via medical helicopter to a trauma hospital in Las Vegas.

“The first vehicle was traveling southbound on Lake Havasu Avenue at the curve and lost control at a high rate of speed,” Eyestone said. “They do suspect alcohol was involved … another car did the same exact thing, almost striking patrol cars and officers.”

Quijada reported the man suffered multi-systems trauma and was in critical condition when he was transported to Havasu Regional Medical Center from the scene. The ejected man was en route the local hospital at 12:42 a.m. Crash investigations are ongoing.

THE ARREST

Police arrested the driver of the vehicle involved in the second crash. The driver and one female passenger were uninjured in the ordeal. Police reports stated the driver was traveling about 80 mph at the time of the second crash.

Police arrested driver Jeffrey A. Bucknum, 46, of Havasu, on suspicion of drunken driving after he reportedly performed poorly during field sobriety tests and routine alcohol breath tests concluded his blood alcohol content was .17 percent. Bucknum was charged with extreme DUI and five counts of felony endangerment, according to police reports.

Like the first unidentified driver, Bucknum was traveling southbound on Lake Havasu Avenue in a black 2008 Cadillac.

You may contact the reporter at jhanson@havasunews.com.

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7 comments:

  • Trial By Stone posted at 11:37 am on Mon, Jan 21, 2013.

    Trial By Stone Posts: 20

    The $20 was for the Kevlar lined ear plugs needed to eat at the cheese steak restaurant, listen to the "really bad band" on the big stage and the big "BOOM" that shattered windows and ear drums and some peoples underwear.

     
  • Molybendum posted at 2:20 pm on Mon, Jan 7, 2013.

    Molybendum Posts: 30

    We did not attend but were wondering what exactly the $20 ticket was for. What would we have gotten for the price of admission? Here in CO we put on 2 fireworks shows a year but they are free. We raise the money throughout the year. We were just curious if anyone can tell me. Thanks.

     
  • woody posted at 3:25 pm on Wed, Jan 2, 2013.

    woody Posts: 167

    Suggestion
    The music at cheese steak restaurant was way too loud, that is why no one was there.
    The big stage band was really bad. Better get zz top next time.
    Fireworks......Boom great

     
  • havasu scout posted at 3:06 pm on Wed, Jan 2, 2013.

    havasu scout Posts: 1

    Sounds like the McCulloch Blvd event rock and rolled till the dawns early night! Who knew right here in Lake Havasu City; was an event worthy of putting New York’s Times Square Ball to shame. Combine the G - Force explosion, shattered windows, toe stomping piano music and the only thing missing was Kathy Griffin and Anderson Copper! Meanwhile across the Nation midnight gun-fire, reckless behavior, and drunk driving were alive and well. I’m curious to wonder what ever happened to family and friends getting together enjoying a great evening with sparklers and games for the kids. Everyone yelling out with excitement in anticipation for what the New Year would bring. After last year’s craziness have we heard there are communities in both California and Arizona where firefighters, paramedics and other public safety people not assigned to a call find cover from falling bullets from excessive gunfire in their communities?! We read about how right here in Lake Havasu drunken fools crash through accident scenes nearly hitting police officers and paramedics, cars traveling on roads posted at 25 and 35, at speeds exceeding 80 miles per hour – losing control, tires coming off vehicles being driven recklessly striking a Police Officer investigating two accident scenes at once. We heard fireworks, screaming, and gun fire until nearly 1 AM in our neighborhood. Our otherwise calm animals were out of control from the noise, and friends of ours talking about their kids waking up after 2 AM from the noise of neighbors. Of course don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting personal accountability, or behavior reflective of respect and awareness for the safety and thoughtfulness of others because what fun would that be.

     
  • umberdean posted at 11:31 am on Wed, Jan 2, 2013.

    umberdean Posts: 9

    Good Job Dave ![beam]

     
  • Havasu Resident posted at 10:25 am on Wed, Jan 2, 2013.

    Havasu Resident Posts: 165

    Eden Rudin, if you sold 2500 tickets, most of those that purchased them must have not shown up lol! It was dead just like the Street luau you put on. No party club music or Dj mixing dance music?

    The kiosk type Pa music was no Dj nor will people stand and dance next to them. The stages and piano player were sad. No one wants to sit & listen to a band unless you’re elderly. People want a party and Main Street missed the concept.

    I think Eden needs to step aside next year or she needs to explore Vegas clubs a bit to see what people dance to. Not rock or piano music...Why do you spend so much on stages and bands no one cares to listen to? No matter what music you think people like, if you don’t have club dance music, you wont have many if any people dancing.

    But whatever, if you sold 2500 tickets, all you care about is the revenue you generated because that event was very skimpy and it showed.

     
  • woody posted at 9:50 am on Wed, Jan 2, 2013.

    woody Posts: 167

    The fireworks were the best and I just LOVED the big BOOM. We were so exited we thought it was the grate unexpected scare ever. We love havasu

     
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