Tag Archives: car accident

Burbank Man Pleads No Contest to DUI Pedestrian Death

Photo taken by @myBurbank follower @DeliaRae

On Monday, February 26, Stergios Antonios Economos, 37-year-old Burbank resident, pleaded no contest to one count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving under the influence of drugs. While in court, Economos also admitted two allegations of inflicting great bodily injury on two victims.

Flowers left by the Disney gate and markings on the street where Michelle Ann Landes was tragically killed by a driver last September

In September, Economos reportedly ran a red light at the crosswalk of Alameda Ave. and Lincoln St., and hit victim Michelle Ann Landes, 64, who was walking to Walt Disney Studios where she worked. Landes died on scene from her injuries. Economos allegedly hit another car afterwards, badly injuring the driver.

He currently faces a possible maximum sentence of 13 years in prison.

Economos’ sentencing is scheduled for May 7 at the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Pasadena Branch.

BPD Receives $100,000 Grant From Office of Traffic Safety

By Timothy Mably

The Burbank Police Department has received a $100,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety to fund a year-long program intended to prevent road deaths and injuries by enforcing awareness and educating the public.

The grant will contribute to presentations on traffic safety, DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols, bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement, motorcycle safety enforcement, distracted driving enforcement, and seatbelt and child safety seat enforcement.

“This grant supports our mission to continue educating the public through various enforcement campaigns throughout the year in order to reduce the number of injuries and deaths attributed to traffic collisions and unsafe driving habits,” said Chief of Police, Scott LaChasse.

Following a decade long low in 2010, the amount of people killed in car accidents has grown to 17% across the country. In 2015, there was a record total of 3,429 fatalities from traffic related incidents. Almost a quarter of fatalities involved pedestrians and bicyclists.

According to OTS Director Rhonda Craft, unsafe behavior causes about 94% of accidents, whether it is the result of texting or the influence of drugs.

“While alcohol remains the worst offender for DUI crashes, the Burbank Police Department supports the new effort from OTS which aims to drive awareness that ‘DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze,’” said Sgt. Derek Green in a press release. “Prescription medications and marijuana can also be impairing by themselves, or in combination with alcohol, and can result in a DUI arrest.”

This grant comes after an elderly man was struck and killed while crossing the intersection of Glenoaks Boulevard and Lincoln Street at the beginning of the month. A Disney employee was also killed by an inattentive driver while crossing Alameda Avenue and Lincoln in September.

Funding for the program comes from OTS through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Otto Jensen

By Stan Lynch

Otto Jensen, who was killed Tuesday night after being hit by a car,  was well-known as a photographer.

Police markings are still on the street and a makeshift memorial has been erected for Otto Jensen. Otto was struck within a hundred feet or less from his business (in the background) that has been on Olive Avenue (Photo By Ross A. Benson)

Jensen, a native of Denmark, came to Burbank in 1940.   He opened his photo studio at 1320 W. Olive Ave. in 1952.   Ironically, Jensen was struck crossing Olive Ave. at Griffith Park Drive, just a few feet from his studio.  According to reports, he had eaten dinner at Theresa’s Family Restaurant at Olive and Vergdugo.  He had a doggie bag in his hand, when for unknown reasons, he crossed Olive at Griffith Park Dr. heading north.

I recall the first wedding I ever attended.  It was back in the 1950’s when I was just a kid.  The daughter of one of our old neighbors when my family lived on Avon St. in Magnolia Park, was getting married.  She married a man in the U.S. Marine Corp.  The wedding was held at the Rosewood Wedding Chapel on Buena Vista St. near Alameda Ave.  The wedding chapel, as well as the

Otto Jensen worked as an actor in Hollywood, and photographed some of its star, including cast members from "Gunsmoke." (Photo courtesy of Burbank Channel 6)

Jack-in-the-Box and the Pago Pago bar were bulldozed years ago to make way for the Disney Child Care Center.  The one thing I remember from that wedding was the photographer.  It was Otto Jensen.  One of the groomsmen was named Otto, and he jokingly commiserated with him about being named Otto.

Besides being a photographer, Jensen was also an actor.  In his earlier years, he was a boxer.  Some of his photographs were of famous boxers, including Heavy Weight Champion Joe Lewis, and noted Southern California boxer from the 1950’s, Art “The Golden Boy” Aragon.  He also took photographs of movie and television stars.

Otto Jensen, who was a boxer in his younger years, was a fan of the sport and continued to photograph it throughout his career as a photographer. (Photo courtesy Burbank Channel 6)

In the 2011 Burbank On Parade, which celebrated the City of Burbank’s centennial, Jensen served as the grand marshal along with other 100 year-olds.    The parade route passed in front of his studio.

A call to his studio confirmed that funeral plans were on hold until Jensen granddaughter arrived.  She apparently lives in Washington, and was notified of her grandfather’s death by the Burbank Police late Tuesday night.

Otto Jensen (Photo courtesy Burbank Channel 6)