La Jolla Crime and Public-Safety News: March 14 - Two paragliders die in collision; Motorcyclist killed in Gilman crash; Weekly list of incidents reported to San Diego Police


Two paragliders die in Gliderport collision

Two paragliders, Glenn Johnny Peter Bengtsson of Carlsbad and Raul Gonzalez Valerio of Orange County, died after a collision above the Torrey Pines Gliderport around 2:40 p.m. March 9, authorities said.

The solo pilots crashed into each other about 35 feet in the air, became entwined and plummeted onto the steep cliff face, about 45 feet below the edge, said San Diego Lifeguard Lt. Rich Stropky.

Valerio was certified to fly on his own; Bengtsson was working on his certification, but had flown 20 to 25 times, Stropky said. He added that the less experienced pilot was flying south when he made a hard right turn into the path of the northbound pilot. The lines leading from their harnesses to their canopies entangled.

Authorities did not know whether the fatal injuries were caused by the initial impact or the cliff crash.

“When we arrived, we had no reason to believe the injuries were fatal,” Stropky said. “It’s a very tragic, tragic incident here this day.”

City Council member Barbara Bry said at the March 11 City Council meeting: “My heart goes out to their families. … I support an investigation to provide the families and the paragliding community with clarity to avoid further incidents.”

Motorcyclist killed in Gilman crash identified

Authorities have identified a motorcyclist who was killed in a crash while using a bicycle lane to pass slower-moving traffic on a La Jolla street earlier this week.

Danny Jay Chehaiber, 32, was struck by an SUV on Gilman Drive near University of California San Diego around 8 a.m. March 5, according to the Medical Examiner’s Office.

Chehaiber had been riding his motorcycle northbound alongside the sidewalk when he was hit by a 2004 Toyota Highlander that turned into a driveway directly in his path, according to information from San Diego police.

He was taken to Scripps Memorial Hospital by medics but never regained consciousness. No one else was injured in the crash.

Police Blotter

Feb. 11

Grand theft, 5600 block Taft Ave., 5 p.m.

Feb. 23

Petty theft, 1200 block Opal St., 6:30 a.m.

Feb. 24

Argument with threats, a landlord and a tenant were involved in a verbal argument, when the tenant verbally threatened to hurt the landlord, 5300 block La Jolla Blvd., 1:48 a.m.

Battery with serious injury, the victim was punched in the face and thrown to the ground by her neighbor, 500 block Marine St., 6:50 p.m.

Feb. 26

Fraud, 1300 block Caminito Arriata, 2 p.m.

March 2

Vehicle theft, 2600 block Torrey Pines Road, 12:01 a.m.

Vehicle theft, 1200 block Prospect St., 3:07 a.m.

Vehicle break-in/theft, 300 block Rosemont St., 5 a.m.

Misdemeanor vandalism, 900 block Opal St., 3 p.m.

March 3

Residential burglary, 7100 block Caminito Olmo, 12:30 a.m.

Vehicle break-in/theft, 8300 block Cliffridge Ave., 9:15 a.m.

Vehicle break-in/theft, 1000 block Agate St., 8:30 p.m.

March 4

Vehicle break-in/theft, 8800 block Villa La Jolla Drive, 3:40 a.m.

March 5

Grand theft, 6600 block Avenida Andorra, 7 a.m.

Petty theft, 7100 block Fay Ave., 8:40 p.m.

March 6

Vandalism, 8800 block Villa La Jolla Drive, 11 a.m.

Residential burglary, 5200 block Cass St., 1 p.m.

Grand theft, 5700 block La Jolla Blvd., 4 p.m.

Vehicle theft, 1100 block Virginia Way, 5 p.m.

Vehicle break-in/theft, 5000 block La Jolla Blvd., 9 p.m.

March 7

Vehicle break-in/theft, 1000 block Sapphire St., 10 p.m.

March 8

Vandalism, 7300 block Brodiaea Way, 6:15 p.m.

Compiled by Ashley Mackin-Solomon from San Diego police reports