Orange County residents had more to fear last Halloween weekend than scary costumes and haunted houses after five pedestrians and bicyclists were struck and killed in less than forty-eight hours. One accident in Santa Ana left locals especially horrified: on Halloween night a speeding driver struck three teenage trick-or-treaters and fled the scene, leaving them to die in the street. Once authorities apprehended the driver they discovered that he had been driving on a suspended license from an August conviction for hit-and-run and DUI and that he had an extensive criminal record.
How Common Is Hit-and-Run in Orange County?
Although we hear about hit-and-run accidents in the news somewhat frequently, Orange County ranks just below average for its incidence of such collisions, placing 22nd in a comparison of 58 counties in a California Office of Traffic Safety ranking system in which 1st place is considered the worst. Hit-and-run was a factor in 935 of the crashes that resulted in injury or death in the county that year. Compare this to Los Angeles County, which ranked the 2nd worst for hit-and-run and where it was a factor in 5,893 crashes.