Dead Driver in Wrong-Way Collision Identified

Two Other Cars Involved; Man Suffers Major Injuries

Wednesday, February 19, 2014
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The wrong-way driver who died after a collision on northbound Highway 101 around 1:00 a.m. Monday morning has been identified as Timothy Morhar. Trapped inside of his burning 2001 Infiniti I30 after hitting one vehicle and slamming into another, 44-year-old Morhar died at the scene. CHP officers believe Morhar entered the 101 in the wrong direction near Summerland, and the collision occurred just north of Santa Monica Road turnoff in Carpinteria. Blood tests are pending to determine if drugs or alcohol played a factor in the incident.

Morhar first hit a Nissan Altima, and continued traveling “out of control,” said CHP officials. The driver and the passenger — Rosie Bermudez and Manuel Partida, both 32-year-old Goleta residents — sustained minor injuries. Morhar then struck a Honda Odyssey and both cars went up in flames. Four occupants in the Odyssey were able to escape the burning vehicle, but driver Phucthanh Le, 47, sustained major injuries. His current condition is unclear. The other passengers, Thoi Phan, 36, and two children, who are five and 13 years old, were able to get out of car with minor injuries.

CHP spokesperson Jonathan Gutierrez said CHP protocol prohibits officers from following a driver in the wrong direction on the highway. Instead, officers are instructed to follow the wrong-way vehicle along the other side of the center divider in attempt to get the driver to pull over. CHP officers’ actions largely depend on the circumstances, Gutierrez said, but officers could potentially call units ahead for assitance or use a spike strip. “When you make policy, you can’t make it for every single situation there is,” Gutierrez said, adding that officers are always expected to “be cautious” and use their “best judgment.”


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Who knew that waiting for a blood test would be so suspenseful?

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
February 19, 2014 at 7:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Should we start a betting pool?

blahblahmoreblah (anonymous profile)
February 20, 2014 at 11:04 a.m. (Suggest removal)

To a specific substance or illness?

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
February 20, 2014 at 3:25 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Category 1: Illness or intoxication.
Category 2: If intoxicated, what kind of intoxicant.
Category 3: If alcohol was the intoxicant, BA level.

All the possibilities for a trifecta here Hoss!

blahblahmoreblah (anonymous profile)
February 21, 2014 at 9:58 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I'm going to put my money on either a sleep aid or xanax combined with a BAC between .10 - .16

loonpt (anonymous profile)
February 21, 2014 at 11:58 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Let the betting begin! I'm saying no illness, no drug other than straight up alcohol, a BA of 0.15-0.2.

blahblahmoreblah (anonymous profile)
February 21, 2014 at 5:27 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I'll put ten down on xanax and gin, bac .09 -.17

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
February 21, 2014 at 5:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I'm going to bet that the driver was in an irrational state of mind when he went on his spree. When can I collect my $10?

billclausen (anonymous profile)
February 21, 2014 at 6:35 p.m. (Suggest removal)

This is no time for jokes. A man is dead and another is in critical condition. Shame on you.

Herschel_Greenspan (anonymous profile)
February 21, 2014 at 6:57 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Shame on the guy who did it, we are just trying to get to the bottom of things.

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
February 22, 2014 at 10:53 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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