QuachGate: I’ve still got some questions

Councilman Andy Quach

Councilman Andy Quach

On Sunday when I initially wrote about Andy Quach being arrested for allegedly driving under the influence I raised a couple questions…

I have heard that at some point Quach was paid by Assemblyman Tran to do fundraising for him.  I haven’t been able to find any more details on this in the most recent filings, but I’m still looking. Could Andy have been on a fundraising expedition for Van last night? 

Rumors are flying around Little Saigon about the accident and who was with Andy before and possibly during the accident. Among the rumors is one about there being a possible passenger in the car with Andy who left the scene before the cops arrived.

I wonder, does anyone know if Van Tran was in town last night? Did anyone see him with Andy Quach last night?

Looks like I was on to something. Since then I learned that Van Tran and Andy Quach were allegedly at a fundraising dinner at Citris in Westminster earlier that evening. What I was unsure about was what time they left Citris and if they had gone somewhere else.

While Tran does not admit to being with Quach at Citris, he does admit that he met up with him sometime before 10 pm Saturday night at West Coast Seafood Buffet on Beach Blvd, in Westminster. Tran said that he had been at a vigil in Santa Ana before he joined up with Quach and then left around 10 pm. My first question is what vigil was Tran at on Saturday night? If we had that information maybe the time lines would make more sense.

Assemblyman Van Tran

Assemblyman Van Tran

It is still reasonable to suppose that Tran was with Quach at West Coast Buffet until he left at around midnight. The accident happened a little less than a mile down McFadden from that location and it is on the way to Tran’s home. Given his blood alcohol level, it is unlikely that Quach would have been able to drive all the way from Citris to the accident site.

There are a couple of pieces to this puzzle that need to be pulled together before we can rule out Tran being in the car with Quach. One critical piece is the police report. My guess is that it may contain information about who was on the scene when the police arrived? If Van Tran was already at the scene when the police arrived, it would be unlikely that he was there as a result of a call from Quach before they did. The D.A. statement clears that up.

A few minutes past midnight, on Aug. 2, 2009, Westminster police officers responded to a traffic collision at 8821 McFadden Avenue, Westminster. Shortly after police arrived, the engine area of the car burst and ignited in flames.

Seems they got there rather quickly. The other part of the story that doesn’t add up is the part about Tran coming to the scene because he got a call from Quach. Here’s why:

the defendant is accused of showing objective signs of intoxication including blood shot eyes, slow and slurred speech…

I found this little chart from Virginia Tech on the progressive affects of alcohol consumption.

Affects of Alcohol Consumption

Van TranBased upon his tested blood alcohol level of .26%, I find it hard to believe that Quach would have had the ability to think about calling Tran, much less the actual ability to dial a phone. I suppose if Tran were to produce his or Quach’s phone records for that time period showing that the two connected by phone we could clear up this matter once and for all. I’m guessing the odds of that happening are pretty slim. I also wonder how or why the officers would have let Quach make any calls while they were investigating the accident.

I do have one more question about this West Coast Buffet place. They are a restaurant and they close at 10 pm. If Quach was there until just before his accident why did these people continue to serve him alcohol when he had to be clearly intoxicated? Better yet, why did they let him leave their establishment and get behind the wheel of his car?

I do have to say that I am impressed that the District Attorney was able to turn around the police report from Westminster so quickly and file charges on Tuesday afternoon. I am also impressed at the speed with which the results of that blood test came through.

If Van Tran’s people were hoping that the charges being filed would shut down any further inquiry into the events of that night, not happening here.

  4 comments for “QuachGate: I’ve still got some questions

  1. Commenting Gnome
    August 5, 2009 at 9:48 am

    GOod job Chris. Why is Sean Mill still shilling for Van Tran? Is he supporting him over Loretta Sanchez? Why does he want this story to go away? Why is he trying to steer our attention? And why is Paul Lucas now commenting anonymously at Orange Juice? Why is he trying to bash Claudio Gallegos, he has nothing to do with this. Its his fault Orange Juice has become out of control.

    We want the questions answered.

  2. Knows enough
    August 5, 2009 at 10:13 am

    I wonder what his blood alcohol would’ve been if he’d taken the breathalyzer. The trick seems to be that you’re allowed a bit more time by demanding a blood test and perhaps that reduces the reading. A lawyer would know that.

  3. big questions
    August 5, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    From the OC Register:

    Assemblyman Van Tran, said Tuesday that he saw the councilman hours before the crash at West Coast Buffet on Beach Boulevard. Tran said he stopped by the restaurant after attending a candlelight vigil in Santa Ana to “say hello” to a group of people gathered at the restaurant, including Quach.

    “But I left the place around 10 p.m.,” he said.

    The next he heard from Quach was past midnight Sunday soon after the crash, Tran said.

    “I live less than a mile away from where the accident scene was,” he said. “I was at home reading and got a call from Andy. I couldn’t make out what he was saying, but he wanted me to come and it sure sounded like an emergency.”

    Tran said he immediately headed out to the scene of the crash.

    “I was at the scene as a friend,” he said.

    Tran said when he got to the scene, Quach appeared distraught and shaken up.

    “He wasn’t bleeding, but I know he was injured in the accident,” he said.

    My opinion:

    If Van Tran got a call from Quach but “couldn’t make out what he was saying”, how did he know where the scene of the accident was? How did he know where to go? How did even know Quach even was in an accident or wanted him to come somewhere?

    Has anyone seen the car?

    Was the passenger seat airbag deployed?

    Has anyone requested any video from either Westminster street traffic cameras or retrace Quachs path and check for video?

    Was Van Tran in the car?

  4. What does paul Walters think?
    August 5, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    Comment from a joke blog:

    Sean H. Mill Says:
    August 4th, 2009 at 11:42 pm
    Loretta will handily defeat Van Tran. Tran is a polarizing figure and one that is a known quantity. The voters in Loretta’s district will not vote for Tran. The district he currently represents has a much different demographic where Latino bashing is accepted.

    Janet on the other hand is a chameleon. Not everyone has caught on to the fact that she is a back stabbing snake. Ask Paul Walters about that.

    I ask:

    Does Santa Ana Chief of Police Paul Walters really sit around with Sean H Mill and talk smack about a County Supervisor?

Comments are closed.