Two Accidents in the Highlands

A two-car collision in the Palisades Highlands Monday afternoon sent two people to Santa Monica Hospital with minor injuries, including this 96-year-old driver. Photo: Joyce Simmons
A two-car collision in the Palisades Highlands Monday afternoon sent two people to Santa Monica Hospital with minor injuries, including this 96-year-old driver. Photo: Joyce Simmons

The first of two accidents on Palisades Drive Monday occurred when a driver attempting to make a left-hand turn onto Chastain Parkway collided with an Infinity heading downhill on Palisades Drive. The accident, which happened in the Highlands shortly after 3 p.m., sent both drivers to Santa Monica Hospital with minor injuries. A 96-year-old woman was attempting to make the left turn. The person driving the Infinity was a 55-year-old woman, said a fire department spokesman. According to Joyce Simmons, a Highlands resident who was at the scene, ‘The woman who had been heading down Palisades Drive was in the street and lying on a stretcher. The older women stayed in her vehicle and LAPD questioned her while she sat in the car.’ The second accident on Palisades Drive occurred at 7:50 p.m., when the driver of a lone vehicle heading downhill lost control and ran off the roadway. There were no reported injuries. Station 23 responded and found the car in the brush along the shoulder. According to Captain James Varney of nearby Fire Station 23, ‘Palisades Drive is a treacherous road between Sunset and the Highlands. In addition to the downhill slope and curves, there are no lights. ‘Going downhill people drive so fast, they fail to estimate how sharp the S-curves are about a mile north of Sunset,’ Varney said. ‘The result is they sometimes end up in the bushes on the other side of the road.’ ‘People go over the line constantly,’ said Susan Weider, who has lived in the Highlands for 10 years. ‘I never drive in the inside lane at night.’ In early November, Travis DeZarn, 18, was traveling downhill when his car skidded, crossed a double yellow line and struck a car traveling uphill. He was killed instantly. ‘The speed limit [45 mph] is perfectly safe,’ said Varney, but the design of the road is an invitation for some to speed. ‘There are people going through the pass at 70 mph–I’ve clocked them,’ Weider said. ‘I’m going 50 mph and they pass me at insane speeds.’