Washed up former NBA star Dennis Rodman will serve three years of probation after admitting that he drove an SUV unto the exit ramp for the carpool lane for the 5 Freeway, which is located on Main St., just south of the Discovery Cube, according to the O.C. Register.
At approximately 12:30 a.m. on July 20, 2016, Rodman drove a sport utility vehicle traveling north in the southbound carpool lane on Interstate 5 near Main Street in Santa Ana. The lane bears concrete dividing walls on either side. Rodman drove head-on toward a sedan, causing the driver of the sedan to swerve and crash into a dividing wall to avoid contact with the defendant’s vehicle. The victim called 911 and California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers responded to the scene. Rodman failed to exchange information with the other driver and fled the scene prior to CHP’s arrival, according to the OCDA.
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CHP identified Rodman during the course of their investigation. Rodman gave verbal false accounts to investigating officers.
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Rodman, who is now 55-years old and resides in Newport Beach, was facing charges of one misdemeanor count each of hit-and-run, driving the wrong way on a divided highway, providing false information to an officer, and driving without a valid driver’s license. Apparently Rodman was driving at the time without a valid license and he gave inaccurate statements to the police.
Rodman will also have to provide 30 hours of community service as part of his plea deal, which saw the OCDA drop the hit-and-run charge. Rodman plead guilty to the rest of the charges.
Rodman’s defense attorney, Paul Meyer, said he got calls from folks who said that the freeway entrance area at Main Street is “confusing and poorly marked.”
I live near that area, in the Park Santiago Neighborhood. I often see folks drive onto Edgewood, entering my neighborhood, then quickly turning around and heading back to Main St. Obviously they are turning onto Edgewood because they thought they were turning onto the 5 Freeway.
I have also seen a fellow drive onto the ramp exiting the northbound 5 Freeway. A homeless man frantically tried to stop that wrong way driver, to no avail.
And I have seen some beautiful sport cars, including a Lamborghini, smash into the wall of the lane that exits the southbound 5 carpool. There are all sorts of signs there warning folks to slow down but for some reason a lot of drivers crash instead.
All that said I have no idea how anyone could drive onto the carpool exit as Rodman did. The entrance is right there too and it is very clearly marked. Then again he was driving around past midnight. Lord knows what the heck he was up to that night.