Shock in Northridge, Los Angeles County
An off-duty Los Angeles police officer was killed early Saturday morning after his car was hit at an intersection in Northridge by a speeding driver who ran a red light.
Later in the morning, LAPD Chief Michel Moore spoke outside the Los Angeles County Coroner's facility in Boyle Heights to announce the death of Officer Darrell Cunningham.
Another person, an unidentified passenger in Cunningham's white Infiniti, also died in the collision, while the rear passenger, an off-duty San Bernardino County police deputy chief, was hospitalized with injuries. Chief Moore said they were all lifelong friends.
Los Angeles firefighters responded to the accident scene at the intersection of Lindley Avenue and Roscoe Boulevard around 1:20 a.m., where they found a fire hydrant sheared off with a black BMW embedded in an apartment building and the Infiniti wrecked on the street.
The wreckage from the accident was scattered across the scene as firefighters worked amid the gushing water to free three people trapped inside the vehicles, including the 20-year-old suspected driver.
Chief Moore said that, according to the preliminary investigation, Cunningham's vehicle was hit at the intersection by the black BMW, which was speeding well beyond the speed limit at about 100 mph while running a red light.
Moore said the driver "appears to have been under the influence of alcohol."
The passenger in the suspect's car was able to get out on her own. Everyone else was trapped by the force and damage of the collision.
Paramedics pronounced Cunningham and his passenger dead at the scene. The three survivors of the accident are being treated at the hospital for their injuries. The suspected driver is unconscious and in critical condition, according to Chief Moore. The off-duty San Bernardino deputy chief suffered a broken hip and other injuries. The passenger who exited Oliveri's car is said to have serious injuries but is expected to survive.
Officer Cunningham leaves behind his fiancée, his 6-year-old and 3-year-old children, his mother, and two other brothers.
Chief Moore said the 20-year-old driver will be arrested for aggravated vehicular manslaughter and additional charges as more evidence is gathered.
"The Los Angeles Police Department is mourning this loss, as well as the other occupant of this vehicle. Speaking with those present at the scene, they were all individuals who knew each other as lifelong friends," Chief Moore said.
Location: Lindley Avenue & Roscoe Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, USA
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