The only fatality over the Labor Day weekend in the California Highway Patrol’s Newhall area was a Valencia man who died Saturday morning when his wife lost control of the car she was driving, hit the center median and careened across six lanes of traffic.
Eugene Vilkas, 89, and his wife, Irena, 87, were traveling southbound on the I-5 at the I-210 interchange shortly before 9 a.m. when Irena lost control of their 2000 Lincoln LS and the left front of the car hit the center median and crossed to the opposite side of the road, coming to rest on the I-5 southbound transition to the eastbound I-210.
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Both Eugene and Irena were transported to Providence Holy Cross Medical Center for treatment. Eugene died at the hospital from injuries suffered in the crash.
Over the weekend, the CHP deployed their Maximum Enforcement program, using every available unit to patrol the streets. There were 29 arrests made for driving under the influence, which is an increase over the three year average of 21, according to CHP Officer John Lutz. There were 27 total crashes during the period; three of them were considered major traffic collisions. In addition to the one fatality, nine people were injured in the above-mentioned incidents.