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A 28-year-old woman from Vancouver, Canada was critically injured on February 5 when she was struck by a vehicle that went out of control in the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue.
The incident occurred around 8:45pm when two vehicles were traveling northbound on Highland Avenue, approaching Hollywood Boulevard. Investigators believe the driver of a 2006 Honda Accord, who was traveling in the center lane, attempted to make a right turn on to Hollywood Boulevard, but struck a 2010 Lexus sedan that was heading north in the curbside lane. The collision caused the Lexus to veer out of control, drive up on the sidewalk and strike the victim, who was standing near the northeast corner of the intersection. The Lexus pinned her against a wall, according to Det. Alasea Jackson, with the Los Angeles Police Department’s West Traffic Division.
“It was a very tragic accident. Her leg was severed,” Jackson said. “She was transported to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and is expected to survive.”
Four foot beat officers from the LAPD’s Hollywood Division were nearby when the crash occurred, and quickly responded to help the victim. Lt Bob Binder, of the Hollywood Division, said one officer in particular, Mario Tovar, was instrumental in saving her life. Tovar, who has been with the LAPD for three years, is an Iraq War veteran and former Navy corpsman who served as a combat medic. Tovar worked to lessen the victim’s bleeding until paramedics arrived, according to Binder.
“A lot of our newer hires are veterans of Iraq War or Afghanistan, and they bring a lot of real world experience and capabilities to the streets,” Binder said. “Both the paramedics and E.R. doctors said that his quick actions probably saved this lady’s life.”
Jackson said both drivers remained at the scene, and neither are suspected of driving under the influence. No additional injuries were reported. Jackson said investigators are still trying to determine the speeds involved, and added that neither driver was cited or arrested.
“It was a straight traffic accident,” Jackson said. “We are still investigating who was at fault, but at this point we believe the driver of the Honda tried to make an illegal right on Hollywood from the number two lane.”
Binder said the incident illustrates the need for people to drive cautiously in the area because of a large number of pedestrians and tourists.
“It’s one of the target areas that the West Traffic Division works on to prevent accidents because it is heavily congested there twenty-four hours a day,” Binder said. “That is an area that we definitely want people to slow down and be extra cautious.”
Thank you Mario Tovar for saving this girls life. She was my ex-girlfriend who I still care deeply about. I would like to personally thanks you…but if this is all I can do I hope you read this.
Tovar, it doesn’t surprise me one bit that you would save someone’s life. I’ll never forget that day I saw you in Fallujah. I’m posting this article on my facebook for all of our brothers to see. Be safe out on patrol brother. Go Navy!
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Officer Mario Tovar’s presence of mind, quick action and application of his learned medical medical skills are commendable and demonstrate the quality of our police officers in the LAPD. I salute you !!
Det.John L. Winchestet, Hollywood Detectives (Ret.) and Vietnam Veteran.