California is currently experiencing the worst mass casualty accident since the Civil War, and the latest case of car crash-related deaths shows the problem is not just confined to one area.
According to the Los Angeles Times, at least five people have died and dozens more were injured in a car crash in California’s Northern California region on Thursday.
The driver, identified by police as 29-year-old Daniel J. “Joey” Lopes of Long Beach, was killed at the scene.
Lopes’ car was involved in a crash with a group of pedestrians near the intersection of the Santa Cruz River and the California State Highway Highway 101 in Long Beach.
Police say the car’s rear driver-side window was shattered.
Lope was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Lopez had been driving the car, but investigators believe he intentionally struck the pedestrians, according to the L.A. Times.
The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office released a statement saying that Lopes “has not been identified and has not been formally charged.”
The driver of the car involved in the crash, 24-year old David J. Johnson of Longmont, was also taken to the hospital with injuries.
The Associated Press reported that Lope had been arrested for drunk driving and had posted a $50,000 bail.
The L. A. Times reported that Johnson has a history of domestic violence, but that the Lopes case was being investigated by the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.
A woman who lives nearby to the crash site told the AP that she was walking on the street and saw the crash and immediately called 911.
She said she saw a large amount of people running down the street, with the vehicle in the middle of them.
She did not know whether or not Lopes had a passenger in the car.
“It’s a huge tragedy,” she said.
“There’s a lot of people that don’t live near here.”
According to The Associated Times, Lopes has been arrested at least four times for drunk-driving.
According a Facebook page called “Justice for Joey” which was created by Lopes and has more than 11,000 followers, the California native was “known to frequent parties and to engage in aggressive behavior.”
Lopes was also a member of a motorcycle club and was active in the local community.
According the page, Lodes Facebook page has since been taken down.
Loes death comes at a time when California has become a battleground for gun control.
Gun violence in the state has risen steadily over the last decade, with an average of nearly 700 murders per year from 2007 to 2016.
Loses a father, a mother, a brother and a sister, among others, and is left to live with a mentally ill man.
The Southern Poverty Law Center says it is responsible for more than 30,000 hate crimes per year.
In June, a gunman opened fire in a high school cafeteria in Springfield, Missouri, killing 12 people and wounding 13 others.
A federal judge ruled that the massacre was a hate crime and ordered a stay on the measure, which would have allowed the shooting to go forward.
The shooting is the latest incident to raise concerns over gun laws in the Golden State.
Earlier this month, a man armed with a semiautomatic rifle and a handgun opened fire inside a San Francisco public school, killing one student and wounding several others.