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Police Blotter: DUI Crash Clogs Highway 1

A passer-by secured the wrecked SUV with a tow rope as it dangled from a tree.

A Watsonville man allegedly driving drunk veered off Highway 1 south of Vista Point just before noon Wednesday and crashed into a grove of trees on a steep slope, the California Highway Patrol reported.

"He swerved off the right shoulder and struck two trees," CHP officer Grant Boles said.

Steve Berman, 63, escaped with minor injuries, possibly thanks to a good Samaritans who stopped and used a tow rope to secure Berman's wrecked GMC Envoy so it wouldn't go off the edge, according to Boles.

"The vehicle was hanging off a tree," Boles said.

Watsonville fire crews, medics and the CHP arrived shortly thereafter and rescued Berman, who was taken to . He was treated, released and arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.

The crash stalled southbound Highway 1 traffic for nearly an hour.

Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office

6:30 p.m. Tuesday—The sheriff's office launched a search-and-rescue mission Tuesday evening after a 63-year-old Aptos resident went missing.

Sherri Woodson was found safe around 11 p.m. at a home on Fern Flat Road in Aptos, a couple miles up the hill from her La Hai Roi Lane home. Woodson likes to walk the trails in her neighborhood and had gone out around 12:30 p.m. Deputies reported she had walked to the second house.

She has become confused and disoriented in the past, and met the criteria for being "at risk," which was why the search was ordered. Two police dogs and 22 deputies and volunteers were involved in the search, according to the sheriff's office.

Watsonville Police Log, Tuesday, March 29

12:07 a.m.—A 17-year-old boy was arrested on the 2100 block of Freedom Boulevard on suspicion of violating his probation.

6:47 a.m.—Gang tags were etched into the hood and trunk of a car parked on the 100 block of Sixth Street. The vandalism happened overnight.

7:17 a.m.—Burglars cut the lock to a gate on the 800 block of West Beach Street and tried to steal items.

11:52 a.m.—The right rear window of a parked car was smashed and items were stolen. The car burglary happened on the 100 block of Nielson Street.

11:55 a.m.—Police seized a revolver and a loaded semi-automatic pistol on the 100 block of West Beach Street.

1:22 p.m.—Crystal Washington was arrested on drug charges on the 100 block of Westgate Drive. She allegedly had more than 200 grams of marijuana and cocaine.

4:33 p.m.—Jesus Zamora Anaya, 18, was arrested on two warrants.

7:08 p.m.—Francisco Valdez allegedly violated his gang probation and had Vicodin without a prescription. He was arrested on the 200 block of Ross Avenue.

7:09 p.m.—Sarinah Annamarie Porter, 21, and her teenage sister were cited for allegedly shoplifting from Kmart.

Jennifer Squires March 30, 2011 at 10:14 PM
I got stuck in the traffic back-up from this crash. You don't realize how many folks are driving south mid-day until the highway turns into a parking lot. It's lucky no one else got hurt.

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