GARDENA >> The investigation continues into a solo-car crash on a freeway transition road in Gardena early Sunday that left three young men and a young woman dead.
The identities of the four victims of the 3:30 a.m. crash on a winding cloverleaf interchange between the 110 and 91 freeways were not released Sunday pending positive identification and notification of their families, Los Angeles County coroner’s officials said.
California Highway Patrol officials described the driver of the 1991 Ford Probe as an 18-year-old Inglewood man. His passengers were an 18-year-old Compton woman, an 18-year-old man whose hometown was not available and another man whose age and city of residence were unknown.
“According to witnesses, a blue Ford Probe traveling at a high rate of speed, northbound Interstate 110, transition to westbound State Route 91, lost control and struck a support pillar,” Officer D. Howell’s of the CHP’s South Los Angeles-area office said in a written statement.
Paramedics pronounced all four occupants of the car dead at the scene just after 3:45 p.m., he said.
No further details were released. The cause of the crash is being investigated by a CHP Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team, which specializes in major collisions.
Any witnesses, or anyone with information can reach the CHP’s South Los Angeles-area office at 310-516-3355.
POMONA >> A 30-year-old man died late Saturday in a motorcycle crash on a transition road between the 60 and 71 freeways in Pomona, authorities said.
Paramedics pronounced Christopher L. Smith of Los Angeles died at the scene of the solo-vehicle crash, which was reported about 10:50 p.m. on the transition road from the westbound 60 Freeway to the northbound 71 Freeway, California Highway Patrol Officer D. Crislip said in a written statement.
Smith was riding a 2000 Kawasaki Ninja 500 at about 80 mph when he lost control, according to the CHP.
“For unknown reasons, Mr. Smith allowed (the motorcycle) to leave the roadway and its front tire struck the raised asphalt curb,” Crislip said. “Mr. Smith was ejected from (the motorcycle) onto the asphalt roadway, where he succumbed to his injuries.”
Smith was wearing a helmet, officials added.
The cause of the crash remained under investigation. Any witnesses or anyone with information was asked to contact the CHP’s Baldwin Park-area office at 626-338-1164.
ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> Authorities have identified a 22-year-old Pasadena man who died in a head-on collision between his Honda Civic and a pickup truck on a winding forest road late Thursday.
Genaro Pliego died following the crash, which took place about 8:45 p.m. at mile marker 27.38 of Angeles Crest Highway, in the Angeles National Forest north of La Canada Flintridge, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Lt. David Smith said.
He was at the wheel of a 1998 Honda Civic that was heading south, rounding a turn, when the car crossed into an opposing traffic lane and struck a Ford F-550 pickup truck head-on, California Highway Patrol Officer J. Saunders said in a written statement.
Paramedics pronounced Pliego dead at the scene, officials said. The driver of the pickup truck suffered injuries described as minor.
An autopsy determined he dead from “traumatic injuries,” and the death was ruled accident, according to coroner’s records.
The cause of the crash remained under investigation by the CHP’s Altadena-area office.
PHOTO by Rick McClure
ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> A man died in a head-on collision between a Honda Civic and a pickup truck on a winding stretch of Angeles Crest Highway deep in the Angeles National Forest north of La Canada Flintridge late Thursday, officials said.
The crash took place about 8:45 p.m. at mile marker 27.28, California Highway Patrol officials said.
Investigators had not yet identified the man killed in the crash, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said. He was estimated to be in his 20s.
“(The Honda) was traveling southbound on Angeles Crest Highway through a turn, then lost control and traveled head-on into (the pickup truck),” CHP Officer J. Saunders said in a written statement.
Paramedics pronounced the driver of the Honda dead at the scene.
A 59-year-old Lancaster man who was driving the pickup truck, a Ford F-550, was treated for minor injuries, Saunders said.
The cause of thee crash remained under investigation.
Anyone with information can reach the CHP’s Altadena-area office at 626-296-8100.
PHOTO by Rick McClure
ALHAMBRA >> Authorities have identified a 31-year-old motorcyclist from Montebello who died in a crash after being cut off by pickup truck on an Alhambra expressway on Friday.
Eric Kawai died at a hospital shortly after Friday’s 11:50 a.m. collision on the eastbound 10 Freeway, just east of Garfield Avenue, according to Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner records. He was initially described by California Highway Patrol officials as 32 years old.
Prior to the crash, Kawai was riding a 2015 Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle in the right-hand lane of the two-lane express way, which runs along the left-hand side of the eastbound 10 Freeway, Officer J. McKee of the CHP’s East Los Angeles Office said in a written statement.
A 1986 Toyota pickup truck being driven by a 19-year-old El Segundo man was heading east on the 10 Freeway in the fast lane, “in heavy stop-and-go traffic,” McKee said.
Kawai was overtaking the pickup truck when the driver veered across the solid double-white lines separating the freeway from the FasTrak expressway and directly into the motorcycles path of travel, McKee said. The motorcycle struck the pickup truck.
The teenage driver of the pickup truck, as well as three other young men who were riding as passengers, suffered no injuries in the crash, officials said.
Officers initially detained the teenage pickup truck driver, but he was not ultimately arrested, according to CHP officials.
Anyone with information regarding the fatal collision is asked to contact the CHP’s East Los Angeles-area office at 323-980-4600.
A fund established online at www.gofundme.com/eric-kawai to help Kawai’s family had raised more than $6,000 as of Wednesday.
PASADENA >> Coroner’s officials on Saturday released the identity of a 63-year-old El Monte man who died in a crash between his compact car and a big rig in Old Pasadena early Thursday.
Epigmenio Miranda of El Monte died at a hospital shortly after Thursday’s 4:50 a.m. crash at Colorado Boulevard and Pasadena Avenue, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Lt. David Smith said. Police initially described Miranda as 58 years old.
He was driving a 2008 Toyota Prius north on Pasadena Avenue when the car collided in an intersection with a big rig traveling east on Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena police Lt. Pete Hettema said.
After freeing Miranda from the wreckage, paramedics took him to Huntington Hospital in Pasadena, Hettema said. He succumbed to his injuries a short time later.
It was believed one of the two vehicles may have ran through a red light prior to the collision, but investigators were yet to determine which one, according to the lieutenant. Police were seeking witnesses to the early-morning crash.
The truck driver suffered no injuries.
Anyone with information can reach Pasadena police at 626-744-4241.
ALHAMBRA >> A motorcyclist from Montebello died in a crash on the 10 Freeway in Alhambra Friday after a pickup truck cut him off on an expressway, authorities said Saturday.
Authorities withheld the name of the motorcyclists, described as a 32-year-old Montebello man, pending notification of his family, California Highway Patrol and Los Angeles County coroner’s officials said.
The crash took place about 11:50 a.m. on the eastbound 10 Freeway, just east of Garfield Avenue, California Highway Patrol Office Michelle Bond said.
Prior to the crash. the motorcyclist was riding a 2015 Kawasaki Ninja east in the right-hand lane of the two-lane FasTrak toll road, Officer McKee of the CHP’s East Los Angeles-area office said in a written statement. A 19-year-old El Segundo man was driving a 1986 Toyota pickup truck “in heavy stop-and-go traffic” in the fast lane of the eastbound 10 Freeway, alongside the FasTrak expressway.
“This collision occurred when (the pickup truck) changed lanes from the No. 1 lane of Interstate 10 eastbound across the solid double white lines,” McKee said.
The truck ended up directly in the motorcycle’s path of travel, he said. The motorcycle struck the back of the pickup truck.
Paramedics took the badly injured motorcyclist to a nearby hospital with severe trauma to his torso, officials said. He was soon pronounced dead.
The teenager at the wheel of the pickup was arrested, according to the CHP. His identity, as well as the crime he is accused of, were not available Saturday afternoon.
The pickup truck driver, as well as two other young men who were riding as passengers in the truck, suffered no injuries in the crash, according to McKee.
Anyone with information can reach the CHP’s East Los Angeles-area office during normal business hours at 323-980-4600.
HACIENDA HEIGHTS >> A fire engulfed a big rig and spread to a hillside, prompting the closure of the 60 Freeway before firefighters got it under control, authorities said.
The fire was first reported as a flaming big rig about 4:30 p.m. alongside the eastbound 60 Freeway near Crossroads Parkway, according to California Highway Patrol and Los Angeles County Fire Department officials.
The flames destroyed the truck and spread to brush on a hillside next to the freeway before firefighters attacked it both on the ground and from aircraft.
The fire scorched about half an acre of brush before firefighters declared it “under control” at 5:25 p.m,, fire department Dispatch Supervisor Melanie Flores said.
Authorities initially shut down all lanes of the 60 in both directions as they responded to the fire.
The westbound lanes were reopened within an hour, and only the two right-hand lanes of the eastbound 60 Freeway remained closed Thursday evening.
No injuries were reported, Flores said.
LOS ANGELES >> A Pasadena man is accused of drunken driving in connection with a crash that killed a 4-month-old girl and injured a 10-year-old boy and a woman on the 110 Freeway in Elysian Park late Saturday, officials said.
Jared Silvestri, 26, was under the influence of alcohol during the 6:37 p.m. crash on the northbound 110 Freeway, just south of the 5 Freeway, California Highway Patrol Officer K. Herrera said in a written statement.
He was at the wheel of a 2001 Chevrolet when it slammed into the rear of a 2006 Chrysler that was slowing and pulling over to the right shoulder, officials said.
A 48-year-old La Crescenta woman, a 4-month-old Carson girl and a 10-year-old La Crescenta boy inside the Chrysler were all hospitalized with injuries, CHP Officer Stefan Brandt said.
The infant girl, who was initially listed in critical condition, was in cardiac arrest while rushed to the hospital, where she ultimately succumbed to her injuries, Brandt said.
The woman driving the Chrysler and the boy riding as a passenger suffered injuries describes as “moderate,” Herrera said.
The Chrysler had pulled halfway on to the right shoulder when it was struck from behind by Silvestri’s car ‘at a high rate of speed,” according to Herrera.
Following the initial impact, both vehicles careened out-of-control and struck another 2001 Chevrolet before coming to a rest, officials said. The driver of the third vehicle was not hurt.
“(Silvestri) was determined to be under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, and the proximate cause of this collisions, and was subsequently arrested,” Herrera said.
The suspect was treated for minor injuries before being booked into jail, officials said.
Following the death of the child, Silvestri may see a pending charge of DUI causing injury upgraded to a more serious crime, such as vehicular manslaughter.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Silvestri was being held in lieu of $2 million bail at the Los Angeles Police Department’s 77th Street Division pending his initial court appearance.
MONTEREY PARK >> Coroner’s officials have identified man who died after being struck by a hit-and-run vehicle while walking in traffic lanes of the 60 Freeway in Monterey park on Wednesday.
Kevin Smalls, 49, who is believed to have been homeless, died after he was struck by an unidentified vehicle shortly before 11 p.m. Wednesday on the westbound 60 Freeway, just west of Pomona Boulevard, according to Los Angeles coroner’s and California Highway Patrol officials.
Smalls had been walking on the center divider before stepping into traffic lanes for unknown reasons, CHP Officer I. Villareal said in a written statement.
A vehicle struck him, but fled the scene without stopping to help, officials said. No description of the hit-and-run vehicle was available.
Anyone with information can reach the CHP’s East Los Angeles area office at 323-980-4600.