‘Save Lives on Highway 395’

‘Save Lives on Highway 395’A strip of Highway 395 that had previously included passing lanes was narrowed several years ago, leaving a long stretch of unpassable highway. — Photo by Rebecca Neipp

------

By BRIAN COSNER

News Review Staff Writer

When Ridgecrest residents Jack and Leslie Brown were killed in a Highway 395 collision last month, locals took to online petitions seeking to widen the highway and otherwise address its widely reported safety issues. Mere days after it was discovered that a petition circulating in social media was no longer active, the road claimed two more lives on Sunday, April 8.

According to a press release from the California Highway Patrol Victorville office, driver Ruben Luna, 24, of La Habra was traveling north on Highway 395 near Adelanto, when his Chevy Impala crossed into the southbound lane “[f]or undetermined reasons” and collided with a southbound Dodge Ram driven by Robert Lee, 62, of Rialto.

Both drivers sustained fatal injuries, and Luna’s passenger, Robert Olivares, 22, of Adelanto, was transported to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center with major injuries. It is unknown if drug or alcohol use were a contributing factor, and the collision is still under investigation. Call 760-241-1186 with questions or inquiries.

“Highway 395 is notorious as being one of the deadliest highways in California,” said a press release from Gary Charlon State Farm. “Many locals will drive significantly out of their way just to avoid it. The vast majority of the highway ... has only one lane for each direction with very limited passing opportunities. The result is a significant number of high-speed, head-on collisions each year.”

The release invited concerned individuals to sign the new online petition “Save Lives on 395” at

ipetitions.com/petition/save

liveson395.

“Too many have lost loved ones or have been permanently injured at the hands of a reckless driver and unsafe driving conditions,” said the release. “Government officials and the Department of Transportation cannot continue to slap Band-aids on this road. Rumble strips do not work. We must stand together to demand more lanes, a road divider and an altogether safer highway!”

Story First Published: 2018-04-13