HEAD-ON COLLISION KILLS ONE; FIVE INJURED AS TEENS RUN STOP SIGN, POLICE SAY.
A 54-year-old woman was killed and five others were injured Friday when a car filled with teen-agers ran a stop sign and crossed into oncoming traffic, police and fire officials said.
A two-door Mitsubishi filled with four teen-agers swerved across double-yellow lines about 6 p.m. on Oxnard Street just east of Kelvin Avenue, police said.
It hit a Honda Accord, which witnesses said was occupied by the woman and a man in his late 50s or early 60s.
Officers at the Valley Traffic Division of the Los Angeles Police Department said one person died in the crash, but did not release the victim's name.
Two other people were critically injured, said Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey. Among the injured were two teen-agers, age 16 and 18, he said.
Witnesses said police removed possible drug paraphernalia from the car that caused the crash.
Los Angeles police officials confirmed that the crash is the subject of a criminal investigation, and that there is a possibility drugs were involved.
``It appears that the vehicle was traveling eastbound, crossed the line and hit another vehicle head-on,'' LAPD Sgt. Robert Balderrama said. ``We still have people at various hospitals.''
Neighbors were the first people at the scene, followed by police and fire officials a few minutes later.
Oxnard Street resident Mark Caplan said he was the first person to arrive at the scene, and found all six people involved in the crash were conscious.
``I heard a thud coming from the side of my house,'' Caplan said. ``It sounded like something dropped on my roof. It vibrated the house.''
Several neighbors said police pulled canisters and balloons out of the car that could have been used for nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, or another inhalant.
``It was an ugly crash, and unfortunately I think someone was doing something they shouldn't have done,'' Caplan said.
The two cars collided head-on and spun toward a curb, hitting a third, unoccupied car, officials said.
Both moving cars were badly mangled in the crash and Jaws of Life were required to free one person from each car, Humphrey said.
More than 40 Fire Department rescuers were dispatched to the scene, including two helicopter crews that landed at nearby Parkman Junior High School and transported victims to Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Woodland Hills, Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills and Northridge Hospital Medical Center, Humphrey said.
Police closed down Oxnard Street at Kelvin Avenue for several hours.
Late Friday night, a male teen-ager and an older man remained in critical condition at Holy Cross, said nursing supervisor Kathy Mitchell. The two victims at Kaiser were in stable condition, said hospital spokeswoman Lisa Kort. The conditions on the victims at Northridge were unavailable.
PHOTO Firefighters work to free a passenger from a crumpled vehicle after a deadly two-car crash Friday on Oxnard Street in Woodland Hills.
Gavin Kaufman/Special to the Daily News
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|Publication:||Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)|
|Date:||Jan 2, 1999|
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