Drunk driver suspected of causing three-car collision on Washington Boulevard

By Gary Walker

A suspected drunk driver speeding down Washington Boulevard on Monday night collided with two cars near Ocean Avenue and Via Marina, killing a visiting Georgia firefighter who was traveling in one of them.

Benjamin Seider, 23, of Los Angeles was arrested at the scene on suspicion of driving under the influence, said Det. Martha Dominguez of the Los Angeles Police Dept.’s West Bureau Traffic Division.

The deceased firefighter, identified as 23-year-old Ron Herens, died at the scene after being ejected from a passenger seat.

Witnesses told police that said Seider was driving a 2009 Audi eastbound on Washington at a high rate of speed around 10 p.m. and ran at least one red light before colliding with the rented 2012 Volkswagen Jetta carrying Herens and two other Georgia firefighters. The Jetta was turning onto Washington from Via Marina.

“We’re just beginning our investigation, but it looks like [Seider] initiated the collision,” Dominguez said.

Herens’ two colleagues were injured in the crash, with one suffering lacerations and the other a possible broken hip and collarbone, she said.

The third vehicle, a 2015 BMW 235i, was waiting to turn onto Washington Boulevard, apparently from Ocean Avenue, when it was also struck, Dominguez said. A couple in the BMW was not injured.