Fourth Passenger in Sunday's 134 Freeway Crash Dies (UPDATE)

The adult, 55, was hospitalized along with two other passengers; eastbound stretch of freeway partially closed at Figueroa Street until 2 a.m.

A fourth victim died Monday after a vehicle that may have experienced a blowout went over the side of the Ventura (134) Freeway in Eagle Rock and plunged onto the street below, authorities said.

The latest fatality was an adult hospitalized after the crash, which occurred around 6:55 p.m. Sunday on the eastbound 134 at Figueroa Street, said coroner's Lt. Joe Bale.

Three people—a man, a woman and a girl—were pronounced dead at the scene, Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey said, and a 55-year-old man, a 36-year-old woman and a six-year-old girl were taken to hospitals.

The accident victims were all in the same vehicle, possibly a minivan, Humphrey said. The vehicle ended up on Figueroa Street, some 75-100 feet below the freeway.

CBS2/KCAL9 reported Sunday night that beer cans were found near the crashed vehicle, and that alcohol might have been a factor in the accident.

The California Highway Patrol investigation took much of the night and kept all or part of the eastbound Ventura Freeway closed for hours at Figueroa Street, according to the CHP. Two lanes were reopened at 9:20 p.m. Sunday, but the others were closed until just before 2 a.m. Monday.

A blown tire is a possible cause of the crash, CHP Officer Adam Eggleston said.

"A witness observed possible tire debris," he said. ''The vehicle lost control, began to flip, rotated approximately three times and a child was ejected."

Witness Andrew Gutierrez told ABC7 it was surreal to see the vehicle fly 75 to 100 feet from the freeway, and he tried to help the people inside.

"It's like a movie—it's like a dream, you know. You just turn around, there's dead people. You feel for them 'cause you don't know them."


In April 2012, an allegedly drunk driver of a sedan rear-ended a gas tanker truck, causing an inferno on the westbound 134 freeway, near the Los Angeles River: Driver in Tanker Truck Inferno Cited, Released [Video].

Calvert, V August 16, 2012 at 06:05 AM
Our prayers go out to the Ramirez Family. Veronica your Kaiser Permanente Family will miss you! We are all sadden by the lost of Salvador and Rafael, may you rest in peace. We are hoping for a quick recovery for your children Leslie and Lupita.
John Carlucci August 16, 2012 at 02:23 PM
This is sad. I also believe the guard rails are too low. Especially for connecting ramps that are so high off the ground. I ride the 134 every day and have often thought how unsafe these ramps are. To make matters worse, a few of them merge from 2 lanes into one, right in the middle of the bridge as the road is in a sharp curve! So every day, I see aggressive, speeding drivers passing slower moving vehicles in last minute dangerous maneuvers.
readycarlos August 16, 2012 at 09:15 PM
I was with friends at Eagle Rock Park at the concert held there on Sunday when the crash happened. Some people heard the crash but we could not see it from where we were sitting. It definitely put a palor over the festivities at the park. We could see that the traffic on the 134 was backed up for hours.
Sheryl Kellison August 19, 2012 at 12:32 AM
I was at the park also for the concert. Was walking back from the restroom when you heard the tire blow and I looked up to the freeway well I stop there. It was horrific and definietly turned very sad at the park. We left very shortly after saying our prayers for the family.
Ajay Singh August 23, 2012 at 06:55 PM
For an update on CHP crash investigation, go here: http://patch.com/A-xlC5


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