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Sacramento police: Land Park driver high on drugs, driving at excessive speeds

03/07/2014 6:46 AM

03/07/2014 11:21 AM

The driver who caused a deadly car collision in Land Park last month was high on drugs and driving at “excessive speeds,” Sacramento police allege.

Police arrested the driver, Floyd Adam Martin Jr., 57, on Thursday after he was released from a hospital – three weeks after the dramatic collision on Riverside Boulevard that killed a woman, sent her husband to a hospital with serious injuries and shook up a neighborhood.

Martin is accused of gross vehicular manslaughter in connection with the death of Linda Shaw, 66 , according to police. He also faces a charge of driving under the influence of a drug causing injury or death.

Police spokesman Officer Doug Morse declined to specify what drug allegedly was found in Martin’s system. He said that in addition to Martin’s alleged intoxication, excessive speed is believed to have been a factor in the Feb. 13 collision, based on witness accounts and evidence at the scene. Investigators won’t know exact speeds until they complete the reconstruction of the collision, Morse said.

Martin was headed northbound on Riverside Boulevard when he collided with the car driven by Shaw, who was entering the intersection westbound on Swanston Drive, according to police.

One resident who heard the collision told The Sacramento Bee it sounded “like a bomb went off.”

Martin and Shaw’s husband, who was her passenger, were transported to the hospital with serious injuries. Shaw’s husband remains in the hospital but is expected to survive.

Martin – who has no documented criminal history in Sacramento County and, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles, a clean driving record in California – is scheduled to be arraigned Monday in Sacramento Superior Court. He is being held at the Sacramento County Main Jail in lieu of $310,000 bail.

Efforts by The Bee to reach Martin’s family Friday were not successful.

The collision reverberated through the Land Park neighborhood, prompting residents to raise questions about speeding and safety on Riverside Boulevard.

Realtor Dan Martinez said that when he saw the aftermath of the collision, the cars looked like “tin cans.”

A lifelong Land Park resident, Martinez said he walks his two dogs almost every night on Riverside Boulevard and feels drivers on the thoroughfare have become more brazen.

“I don’t know if it’s just because it’s a straight shot, but it is increasingly becoming more dangerous, I feel,” said Martinez, 42.

The presence of Crocker-Riverside Elementary School – less than half a mile from the collision site – amplifies his concerns, Martinez said.

Mark Abrahams, president of the Land Park Neighborhood Association, said his organization’s monthly meeting in January had twice the usual turnout after word spread that police would be present to talk and answer questions about the collision. He said it’s been a hot topic of discussion on Nextdoor.com, a social networking site for neighbors, as well as in text messages and emails between neighbors.

“It could’ve easily happened to me. It could’ve been me pulling out on that street,” Abrahams said. “When it’s so close and somebody dies it really tends to hit home with all the neighbors because obviously it could have been them.”

Abrahams said many neighbors would welcome increased traffic enforcement by police in Land Park, but he recognizes it is not feasible every day. In the end, it appears the collision occurred because of someone’s poor decisions, Abrahams said.

“It’s my hope that something like this shakes people up enough to let them think about it before they get behind the car wheel (under the influence) or text while they’re driving,” he said.

Sacto 911 Staff

Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com
@Lindelofnews

Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

Andy Furillo
Superior Court
afurillo@sacbee.com
@andyfurillo

Denny Walsh
Federal Court
dwalsh@sacbee.com

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