View Fatal Traffic Collision (PDF)


DATE: March 16, 2021

SUBJECT: Fatal traffic collision

LOCATION OF OCCURRENCE: Euclid Street and Orangewood Avenue

DATE/TIME OF OCCURRENCE: March 12, 2021 at 2:12 AM

SUSPECT(s): Mendoza, Joseph (24 y/o), LKA: Paramount, CA
Fernandez, Sal (34 y/o), LKA: Reseda, CA


Regarding the fatal traffic collision that occurred on Friday, March 12, 2021, all parties have been positively identified and their next of kin have been notified. The decedents in the Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck are as follows:

  • Mendoza, Joseph (24 y/o)
  • Fernandez, Sal (34 y/o)

Fernandez was currently on Parole and Mendoza was on Post Release Community Supervision (PRCS) out of Los Angeles, County, and they both had extensive criminal histories. After the truck was removed from the pool, a catalytic converter, power saw, and power saw charger were located inside the truck. In addition to these items, a loaded handgun was located inside the truck.


On Friday, March 12, 2021, at 2:12 AM, a Garden Grove Police Officer observed a vehicle (Dodge Ram truck) driving at a high rate of speed through the parking lot of the Resort area, Chapman Avenue and Harbor Boulevard. The truck exited the parking lot onto Chapman Avenue, where it continued to drive at a high rate of speed. The officer activated his red lights and siren in an attempt to catch the truck as it traveled westbound on Chapman Avenue. The truck continued driving at a high rate of speed when it was involved in a traffic collision with another passenger vehicle at the intersection of Euclid Street and Orangewood Avenue.

As a result of the collision, the truck hit a block wall and came to rest upside down in a residential swimming pool. The Orange County Fire Authority responded to render aid. The driver of the truck was pronounced deceased at the scene. The driver of the passenger vehicle was transported to a local hospital, where he later was pronounced deceased. The names of the drivers are not being released at this time.

At approximately 11:30 AM, the truck was removed from the swimming pool and a male passenger was also found deceased in the truck.

The California Highway Patrol is handling the traffic collision investigation.

Mario Martinez, Lieutenant
Professional Standards Division / PIO
O: 714.741.5786 W/C: 714.741.5871
24 Hour: 714.741.5704