Roundup: Oxnard man hospitalized in fiery crash, Ventura crash victim named, more news

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Here's a roundup of recent incidents and announcements from Ventura County agencies:

Driver hospitalized after fiery crash

OXNARD – A 66-year-old Oxnard man was hospitalized with critical injuries after driving into a tree late Thursday night in a fiery collision.

The single-vehicle crash was reported at 11:59 p.m. along Fifth Street, east of Portofino Place, according to the Oxnard Police Department. The area is east of Victoria Avenue and south of the Oxnard Airport.

The man was driving a 2011 Jeep Liberty eastbound on Fifth Street when, for reasons under investigation, the Jeep left the road, hit a tree on the south side of Fifth and caught fire, authorities said.

A tree on Fifth Street in Oxnard shows burn marks and damage after a driver hit it late Thursday night in a fiery single-car crash east of Portofino Place.
A tree on Fifth Street in Oxnard shows burn marks and damage after a driver hit it late Thursday night in a fiery single-car crash east of Portofino Place.

Oxnard Fire Department crews found the vehicle fully engulfed and the driver trapped inside, said Battalion Chief Steve McNaughten. No one else was in the vehicle, he said.

The driver was extricated and taken by ambulance to Ventura County Medical Center with traumatic injuries and burns. He remained in critical condition as of Friday afternoon, traffic investigators said, and would possibly be transferred to a burn center in the Los Angeles area.

Police officials said they had not yet determined whether alcohol may have been a factor.

Anyone who witnessed the incident can contact Senior Officer Jose Diaz at 805-385-7749 or at jose.diaz@oxnardpd.org.

Drug activity part of international operation, authorities allege

OXNARD – An Oxnard man has been accused of distributing bulk quantities of methamphetamine, heroin and prescription drugs as part of a drug trafficking organization with international reach.

Detectives from the Ventura County Sheriff's Office spent three months investigating the man's alleged drug trafficking activities. The probe led them to Los Angeles and San Diego counties and to Mexico. Three people have been arrested, including the 54-year-old Oxnard suspect, and more arrests are pending, the agency reported Thursday night.

Locally, the investigation focused on activity at the suspect's Oxnard residence on Laurel Street. The drugs were allegedly sold around Ventura County.

Ventura County Sheriff's detectives seized about $500,000 worth of drugs last month while investigating local activity allegedly linked to an international operation.
Ventura County Sheriff's detectives seized about $500,000 worth of drugs last month while investigating local activity allegedly linked to an international operation.

Ultimately, narcotics detectives found the organization smuggled drugs in bulk quantities from Mexico into the U.S. along the southwest border. Drugs were then stashed at a safe house in San Diego operated by a 25-year-old man who used drug couriers to transport supplies to other alleged co-conspirators, including the Oxnard suspect. Couriers also reportedly took proceeds from sales back to Mexico, according to the sheriff's account.

Late last month, the local detectives, with assistance from investigators in San Diego, served search warrants in Oxnard, Los Angeles and San Diego. Authorities seized drugs with an estimated street value of about $500,000. In total, they found 22 pounds of meth, a pound of brown heroin and hundreds of Xanax-type pills along with five rifles, two handguns and about $32,000 in suspected drug proceeds.

Bulk quantities of narcotics seized by Ventura County Sheriff's detectives during warrant searches in November.
Bulk quantities of narcotics seized by Ventura County Sheriff's detectives during warrant searches in November.

Also arrested were a 24-year-old man from Los Angeles and Tijuana, and a 29-year-old woman from San Diego County. Both are suspected of serving as couriers.

The Oxnard resident was released from Ventura County jail on a bail bond and has since pleaded not guilty to multiple felonies in Ventura County Superior Court, according to court records. He has prior felony convictions for drug-related offenses, court records show.

Pedestrian identified in Ventura fatality

VENTURA – County officials on Friday identified the woman who died after getting run over by a car in downtown Ventura last weekend.

The victim, Parkash Kaur, 74, was a Ventura resident, according to the Ventura County Medical Examiner's Office. The manner of death was deemed accidental.

The collision took place shortly after 6 p.m. Sunday along Thompson Boulevard near Figueroa Street.

Kaur had been walking eastbound on Thompson when she was hit by a car as the driver backed out of a parking lot.

Kaur was taken to a local hospital and succumbed to her injuries Monday night. The driver remained on scene and cooperated with Ventura Police Department investigators, who determined alcohol, drugs and distracted driving were not factors.

Jeremy Childs is a breaking news and public safety reporter covering the night shift for the Ventura County Star. He can be reached by calling 805-437-0208 or emailing jeremy.childs@vcstar.com. You can also find him on Twitter @Jeremy_Childs.

This article originally appeared on Ventura County Star: Roundup: Fiery Oxnard crash, Ventura crash victim named, more news

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