Three men rescued from SUV wreck in Granada Hills

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GRANADA HILLS >> Firefighters ripped apart a mangled SUV to free three injured young men who were trapped inside after the vehicle struck a tree along San Fernando Road, authorities said.
Two men were hospitalized in critical condition and one was hospitalized in serious condition following the crash, which took place just before 1 p.m. in the 14400 block of North San Fernando Road, just west of Balboa Boulevard, Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey said. All were described as men estimated to be in their 20s.
The driver and two passengers were trapped inside the Toyota SUV when officials arrived on-scene, he said.
“Firefighters had to use hydraulic prying tools to deconstruct the SUV,” Humphrey said.
The relationship among the three injured men was not clear, he said.
Two of the injured were taken to Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, and the third was taken to Henry Mayo Hospital in Valencia, officials said.
San Fernando Road was briefly shut down in both directions as officials tended to the injured and investigated the scene.
The cause of the crash was being investigated by the Los Angeles police Department’s Valley Traffic Division.

PHOTO by Mike Meadows

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Wrong-way driver kills Fontana women in head-on 210 Freeway crash in Rancho Cucamonga

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA >> A wrong-way driver slammed into another car on the 210 Freeway in Rancho Cucamonga early Sunday, killing himself and two of four family members riding in the other vehicle, authorities said.
Two other members of a family suffered major injuries in the crash, which occurred just after 2 a.m. on the eastbound 210 Freeway, just west of Day Creek Road, California Highway Patrol Sergeant Josh Buffum said.
The wrong-way driver was identified as Mack A. Jaramillo, 28, of Fontana, the sergeant said. He was the sole occupant of a 2011 Hyundai, and investigators were looking into the possibility he was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash.
Two women riding as rear passengers in the 2013 Hyundai struck by the wrong-way vehicle died in the crash, Buffum said. They were identified as Falguni Shah, 38, and Veena Shah, 42, both of Fontana.
The driver of the 2013 Hyundai, 60-year-old Nitin Shah of Chino Hills and front passenger Jyotsna Shah, 56, of Chino Hills were hospitalized with major injuries, Buffum said.
CHP Capt. Joe Flores told the Associated Press that the Shah family was returning from a family reunion when they became involved in the violent collision, which took place in the carpool lane of the eastbound 210 Freeway.

… FULL STORY

PHOTO courtesy of KTLA

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La Puente man, Panorama City man killed in Panorama City 7-Eleven shooting

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Two men who were fatally shot outside a Panorama City 7-Eleven on Thursday have been identified by coroners’ officials as police continued Sunday to hunt two suspects still at large.
The victims were identified as Maron States, 26, of La Puente and Miles DeShawn, 19, of Panorama City, said Lt. Fred Corral of the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner’s Investigations Unit. The precise cause of death was still pending Sunday morning.
A third man, who was also standing outside the store, was shot in the leg and was taken to a local hospital for treatment, officials said.
A radio call went out at 5:55 a.m. Thursday of an assault with a deadly weapon and shots fired outside the 7-Eleven at 8243 N. Sepulveda Boulevard, said Sgt. S. Carlsen, a watch commander with LAPD’s Mission Station.

… FULL STORY by Brenda Gazzar

PHOTO by Gene Blevins

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Porter Ranch man dies following solo-car crash in Arcadia

ARCADIA — A 24-year-old Porter Ranch man died at the scene of a solo-car crash early Sunday, however the circumstances were unclear.
The crash took place about 2:30 a.m. along Santa Anita Avenue near Campus Drive, Arcadia police Sgt. John Bonomo said in a written statement.
The driver of the 2006 Ford Mustang was pronounced dead at the Methodist Hospital in Arcadia at 3:18 a.m., according to Arcadia police and Los Angeles County Department of Coroner officials. His identity was not released pending notification of his family.
A passenger in the Mustang, described as a 26-year-old Sylmar man, was not injured, Arcadia police Sgt. Stephen Fallavollita said.
The car had struck the curb and come to rest against a tree, he said.
The impact from the crash was described as “moderate,” and there were no signs of significant outward trauma on the driver’s body, Fallavollita said.
It was unclear whether the driver died as a result of the crash, or may have suffered a medical problem of some kind that preceded it, officials said. An autopsy was planned.

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Men killed in Monterey Park crash identified

MONTEREY PARK >> Coroner’s officials have released the names of two young men who died in a high-speed solo-car crash in Monterey Park earlier this month.
Driver Brian Anthony Gomez, 19, of Los Angeles died at a hospital shortly after the crash, which took place about 3:40 p.m. July 10 in the 500 block of Monterey Pass Road, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Investigator S. Dixson said.
His passenger, 21-year-old Nicholas Ivan Gonzalez of Montebello, died at the scene of the crash, according to coroner’s Lt. Fred Corral.
Autopsies determined both men died of “traumatic injuries,” and the deaths were ruled accidental, coroner’s officials said.
The Infiniti Q60 was travelling at high speed when is struck a parked car and overturned, Monterey Park police officials said. At least one witnesses indicated the car was traveling in excess of 100 mph when it crashed.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation by traffic officers from the Monterey Park Police Department.

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Officials suspect suicide after body found at base of Marriott hotel in Monrovia

MONROVIA — Suicide is suspected after a man plummeted to his death from the top of the Courtyard Marriott hotel in Monrovia late Friday, officials said.
The body of a man was discovered just before 10 p.m. in the parking lot of the hotel, 700 W. Huntington Drive, Monrovia police Sgt. Glen Coleman.
The man was yet to be positively identified Saturday, coroner’s officials said, however police initially described him as a man in his mid-20s who was believed to be a Monrovia resident.
A passer-by called 9-1-1 to report an injured man was lying in the parking lot, though the caller did not know what had happened to the man, Coleman said. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.
A review of footage from a nearby surveillance camera indicated the man had jumped from the top of the hotel, Coleman said.
The investigation was ongoing and coroner’s investigators planned to perform an autopsy.

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Jewelry dealers robbed of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of jewels on Pasadena freeway offramp

PASADENA — Two men escaped with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of jewelry late Thursday after robbing a pair of jewelry dealers on a freeway offramp in Pasadena, police said.
The heist took place about 9:50 p.m. on the Fair Oaks Avenue offramp of the eastbound 210 Freeway, Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said.
Two men from out of state who own a jewelry business were visiting town when a car stopped in front of them, Luna said.
The two robbers exited their car and confronted the victims, who were 35 and 45 years old, he said.
“They threatened harm if the victims did not comply with their demands,” Luna said. The robbers ordered the victims to open the trunk of their car.
Luna said the robbers grabbed jewelry valued at “several hundred-thousand dollars,” from the victims’ trunk before fleeing. The jewelry dealers were not injured, and no weapons were seen during the crime.
Police described the robbers only as two male suspects wearing dark clothing. They were driving a white sedan, possibly of German manufacture.
The victims did not recognize the robbers, Luna said. It was not clear how the robbers knew of the victims’ precious cargo.
“They were obviously targeted,” Luna said.

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Ex-Arcadia police officer pleads ‘no contest’ to embezzling from fellow officers

A former Arcadia police officer pleaded “no contest” Friday to embezzling more than $40,000 from the Arcadia Police Officers’ Association to buy motorcycle parts and other personal items, officials said.
Christian Blesch, 36, entered the plea Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court at a scheduled pre-trial conference, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials said in a written statement. He had been charged with one count of grand theft by embezzlement.
Under a plea agreement, Blesch was expected to be sentenced to 180 days in county jail and three years of probation when he returns to court for sentencing Sept. 30, officials said.
If convicted at trial, he faced a maximum sentence of three years behind bars.
“Blesch began stealing funds from the Arcadia Police Officers’ Association after being elected as its treasurer in 2011,” according to the district attorney’s office statement. “Blesch used the association’s credit cards to buy parts and accessories for his own motorcycles as well as other personal items such as clothing, exercise equipment and cigars.”
Blesch paid the monthly credit cards bills with funds from the association’s checking account, prosecutor said.
As part of his plea agreement, Blesch was ordered to pay nearly $42,000 in restitution, according to the district attorney’s office.
The theft took place over the course of several months, Arcadia police Capt. Paul Foley said shortly after Blesch’s arrest in late September.
Blesch resigned from the Arcadia Police Department and turned himself in to officials Oct. 2, a week after investigators obtained a warrant for his arrest Sept. 24, police and district attorney’s officials said.
Blesch remained free on $45,000 bail pending his legal proceeding.
A second Arcadia Police officer was placed on administrative leave along with Blesch when the missing money first came to light in March of 2013, officials said. The officer remains on leave, however, charges have not been filed against him.

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Police checkpoint planned this weekend in La Verne

LA VERNE — Police are planning a sobriety and drivers’ license checkpoint late Saturday in La Verne, official said.
The checkpoint will be held from 7 p.m. Saturday to 2 a.m. Sunday at an undisclosed location within the city, La Verne police officials said in a written statement.
Over the past three years in La Verne, 26 people have been injured in DUI-related crashes,” La Verne police Sgt. Dave Mortazavi said. A total of 53 DUI-related crashes took place over the past three years.
Funding for the checkpoint is being provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Pilot and passenger walk away from hard landing at El Monte Airport

EL MONTE — A pilot and passenger walked away unscathed Thursday after making an emergency landing without a landing gear at El Monte Airport, authorities said.
Officials received word just before 7 p.m. that a small Cessna airplane with two people on board was in trouble as it approached El monte Airport, 4233 Santa Anita Ave., Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Ed Pickett said.
“Their landing gear failed, so they called an emergency,” Pickett said.
Firefighters rushed to the airport and prepared for the worst. But the plane touched down without injury to the pilot or passenger, despite the lack of a landing gear.
“It skidded off the runway. Everybody walked away,” Pickett said. The aircraft was damaged, but the extent of the damage was not clear.

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