Last week, an unlicensed driver carrying five passengers slammed into a tree. Three passengers were killed. The other three occupants sustained critical injuries.
The accident happened on February 3rd at 2:45 a.m. Moreno Valley resident Tenina M. Calhoun was driving an Infiniti SUV on Florence Ave. in Los Angeles when she lost control, hit a curb, and slammed into a tree at the intersection of Florence and Hilldale.
Five of the six occupants of the SUV were ejected from the vehicle. Three women who died as a result of the car accident were: 21-year-old Enisha Marie Davis, 19-year-old Jeshai Chanae Jones, and 28-year-old Tiesha Jermaine Turner. The driver remains in critical condition.
LAPD investigators found an open container of alcohol in Calhoun's vehicle. They say speed and alcohol could be factors in the car crash. No DUI charges have been filed yet against the driver.
Driver Calhoun was cited by the CHP on January 3rd for driving without a driver's license, but officers did not impound her vehicle.
There have recently been a string of car accidents caused by unlicensed drivers that have resulted in serious injuries or death. The accidents have fueled a debate about the city's policy of seizing unlicensed drivers' vehicles.
California law requires that police impound an unlicensed driver's vehicle for 30 days. The LAPD is considering changing its practice of seizing the cars of unlicensed drivers. Under the proposal it is considering, instead impounding the vehicle, the LAPD would allow first time unlicensed offenders to call a relative or friend to pick up the vehicle.
Proponents of altering the impound rules charge that the current impound policies unfairly target illegal immigrants, who cannot get a California driver's license.
Opponents of the change cite statistics which show that unlicensed drivers are in many more accidents than licensed drivers.