A 22-year-old Los Angeles man was booked on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter Thursday in connection with a fatal crash in Costa Mesa that investigators suspect was part of a series of street takeovers in Costa Mesa, Anaheim and possibly Santa Ana.
Mynor Augusto Esquivelvalle was booked in connection with the crash that killed his cousin, said Roxi Fyad, a spokeswoman for the Costa Mesa Police Department. Police have not yet released the name of the victim, who is in his 20s.
Investigators do not suspect alcohol played any part in the crash, Fyad said. There are skid marks on the street consistent with a car doing doughnuts so police suspect that is what caused the car to flip over, Fyad said.
The car the suspect was driving overturned at Sunflower and Hyland avenues in Costa Mesa at about 2:30 a.m. and his cousin was killed and a second passenger was taken to a hospital in unknown condition, Fyad said.
The driver remained at the scene. Four other spectators were arrested on suspicion of aiding and abetting, Fyad said.
About 80 to 100 vehicles came to the location from Anaheim, where an earlier collision landed an 18-year-old woman in a hospital, police said.
Preston James Shea, 19, of Anaheim was booked on suspicion of felony hit and run, reckless driving causing great bodily injury and assault with a deadly weapon, Anaheim Police Sgt. Jacob Gallacher said.
At about 1:30 a.m., police were called to the 400 block of North Euclid Street regarding the collision, Gallacher said.
“When officers arrived there was a parking lot full of 200 sport-type vehicles,” Gallacher said. “Several were doing doughnuts.”
The victim sustained moderate injuries and was expected to survive, he said.
Shea left personal contact information with a witness at the scene before driving away, helping police track him down about two hours later, Gallacher said. Witnesses also provided cell phone videos to police, he added.
It’s unclear if Esquivelvalle was at the Anaheim gathering, but police were told the motorists were headed to Costa Mesa so they alerted police there, Gallacher said.
“We’re seeing it all across the Southland,” Gallacher said of the street takeovers by car enthusiasts.
“These are very challenging because there are so many people involved in these incidents,” Gallacher said, adding they are “very dangerous” because they involved inexperienced drivers attempting stunts.
“They’re doing burnouts and doughnuts in close proximity to spectators,” he said. “It’s really a recipe for disaster. It’s extremely unsafe.”
The collisions come during Teen Driver Awareness Week Gallacher added. “We’re encouraging parents to talk to their teenage drivers” about car safety, he said.
Santa Ana police were called at 1:52 a.m. regarding street racing at 3 MacArthur Place. Several car clubs were gathered at the Home Depot at Edinger Avenue and Lyon Street for about an hour before leaving.
At about 1:30 a.m., one vehicle was doing doughnuts at Majestic Drive And Columbine Avenue and the driver was arrested on suspicion of reckless driving as well as a felony DUI warrant, police said.
At 2 a.m., police were called about 30 vehicles at Maple Street and Columbine. In all, two drivers were arrested on suspicion of reckless driving and three vehicles were impounded, police said.