Late last night, just after 1am, reportedly an argument ensued between someone a male individual in his 20s and the doormen at a local establishment. Officials have indicated that the argument was about whether or not the man was able to drive. The argument turned sour and police were called. The male individual got into a car with a female passenger and fled the scene– but as they drove away from the McFadden Square/Newport Pier area, they made a right– towards the Wedge where there is no way out. Police initially pursued them, but decided to catch them on their way back out, instead.
The driver, realizing his mistake, turned around and began barreling down Newport Blvd at speeds over 100mph. Unfortunately, it was at this time– at about 1:15am– that the 2016 Mercedes-AMG car struck a palm tree. The engine itself was 100ft away as it struck a nearby parked SUV, with other parts scattered twice that distance as the car was literally split in half, with much of the car shattering upon impact. A graphic video was taken at the scene by a bystander, here: https://youtu.be/hQtaQt3OU9U
The male driver was pronounced dead at the scene. The female passenger was taken to the hospital and suffered only a broken ankle.
The scene is still under investigation and cleanup processes, and will likely cause traffic issues for hours more to come. Please budget for the excess time if you are going to be driving through the area, as this will likely not be resolved quickly, as multiple government agencies are involved in this investigation.
As of early this morning, the road closures were:
— Balboa Boulevard between 22nd and 24th streets
— 23rd Street, just west of Oceanfront
— Oceanfront between 21st and 23rd streets
— 22nd and 24th streets in both directions
Our thoughts are with the deceased, the injured, and their families.