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Report: Agua Dulce driver in fatal crash was 3 times legal limit

Second driver still recovering from injuries suffered in January head-on

Posted: April 16, 2013 5:35 p.m.
Updated: April 16, 2013 5:35 p.m.

Firefighters work around the wreckage of two pickup trucks that collided on Sierra Highway near Davenport Road in January, killing one driver whose blood alcohol level was reported at .31 percent.

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An Agua Dulce man killed in a January head-on crash that left another man still recovering from injuries was three times over California’s legal blood alcohol limit, a coroner’s report shows.

Rigoberto Conchas, 52, who lived on Eagleset Avenue, had a blood alcohol level of 0.31 percent, according to a copy of the lab report prepared by the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office and obtained by The Signal.

According to state law, “It is unlawful for any person who has 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle.”

Conchas was driving southbound on Sierra Highway near Davenport Road around 5:30 p.m. Jan. 26 when his pickup truck drifted into the northbound lane and slammed head-on into a another pickup driven by Stephen Hidey, 58, who lives on Ridge Avenue in Agua Dulce, according to a California Highway Patrol report.

The crash killed Conchas and nearly killed Hidey, who is still recovering from his injuries, according to a person close to the family reached Tuesday.

Hidey was rushed to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital with life-threatening injuries the night of the collision, a CHP spokesman said.

He remained in a coma for more than a week before being transferred in stable condition in February to another hospital.

Hidey is a licensed general contractor who runs his own construction company called Stephen Hidey Construction LP with his wife, Barbara Wellman.

The family has declined offers to talk to the media.

Shortly after the crash, however, his sister, Sean, posted an update on her brother condition online, reporting a “drain in his brain” and rods and pins in some of his bones.

“He was coming home after a day at Boxer Rescue L.A, walking the dogs,” she wrote.

“Please pray for my brother. He is a good man with a wife, family and a kennel full of homeless dogs who adore him,” the sister wrote. “Please God, take his hand and show him the way back to us so that we can help him heal his body and mind.”

On the night of the crash, Los Angeles County firefighters cut away the roof and the doors of both trucks to extricate each of the two drivers and a passenger in Conchas’ 1999 Ford F-150, according to the coroner’s report.

The passenger, identified by the CHP as Samuel Araiz, 52, of Canyon Country, was also taken to Henry Mayo. His medical condition has not been disclosed.

The CHP officer investigating the crash suspected alcohol was a factor and requested a toxicology test on Conchas, according to the report prepared by coroner’s investigator Kristy McCracken.

The CHP investigator wrote that Conchas’ blue Ford F150 was possibility speeding when it merged “for unknown reasons” into the northbound lanes and hit Hidey’s Ford F350 head-on. “It is unknown if he is going to survive,” the investigator wrote of Hidey.

Conchas died as a result of blunt force chest trauma, according to the coroner’s report.

He was found to have suffered multiple right rib fractures, several abrasions and a major laceration to his inner central right calf, McCracken wrote,
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt




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