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The Region

DUI Suspect Injures 4 in Crash

Traffic: Police say open containers are found in truck of driver who had license restored Friday.

June 03, 2002|JEFF GOTTLIEB and DAVE MCKIBBEN | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

Just two days after having his license reinstated following a drunk-driving conviction, a 20-year-old man suspected of being drunk ran a red light and struck another vehicle in Mission Viejo early Sunday, injuring himself and four other people, police said.

Though Mark Staffon is underage, his alcohol level was well over the legal limit, said Lt. Larry Abbott of the Orange County Sheriff's Department. Open alcohol containers were found in his red Chevy pickup, Abbott said.

Staffon's previous DUI arrest was Nov. 3, 1999, in southern Orange County, Sheriff's Lt. Greg Russell said. His license was suspended Nov. 6, 2000. He regained it Friday, deputies said. Russell did not have details.

Investigators said Staffon was traveling east on Crown Valley Parkway around 12:45 a.m. when he ran the red light and crashed broadside into a white 2001 Pontiac Sunbird convertible driven by Joshua Rogal, 18, of Mission Viejo.

Rogal had two friends in his car, one of them Angela Bailey, 18, who had been ill earlier in the evening and had just been treated and released from the emergency room at Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center.

The crash happened just one-eighth of a mile from the hospital as Rogal was turning left from Medical Center Drive onto Crown Valley, police said.

Rogal was in critical condition late Sunday with head injuries and lung contusions. Jonathan Conder, 21, of Mission Viejo, who had been in the back seat of the convertible, was in critical condition with bleeding on the brain and multiple fractures and contusions.

Bailey, 18, also of Mission Viejo, was in the front seat. She was in stable condition with a fractured left leg and back pain.

Staffon was admitted to Western Medical Center-Santa Ana with facial cuts and body aches, officials said. A 17-year-old passenger in his truck suffered minor injuries. Reached in the hospital Sunday night, Staffon would not comment on the incident.

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