A 19-year-old Glendale man whose crash into a fire hydrant and a light pole in Valley Village led to the electrocution deaths of two good Samaritans who rushed to his aid was arrested Thursday on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter.
Arman Samsonian was booked into the Van Nuys Station jail at 5:08 p.m. Thursday and being held in lieu of $100,000 bail, according to Los Angeles County sheriff's online booking records.
Samsonian turned himself in to authorities after he became aware that a warrant had been issued for his arrest, said Sgt. Randy Modrell of the Los Angeles Police Department's Valley Traffic Division.
Stacey Lee Schreiber, 39, of Valley Village, and Irma Zamora, 40, of Burbank, were electrocuted Aug. 22 when they tried to help Arman Samsonian, 19, of Glendale, after his SUV sheared a fire hydrant and toppled a light pole in the 12000 block of Magnolia Boulevard, creating a pool of electrified water into which they stepped.
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Neither drugs nor alcohol appeared to have been factors in the crash, according to the LAPD, which alleged two days later that Samsonian had been driving recklessly.
City Councilman Paul Krekorian, who represents the area, added that the crash was indicative of the dangers of speeding.
"Far too often, lives are unnecessarily put at risk by people driving too fast on our streets, by people thinking that they can handle going around corners faster than they can handle it ... and these drivers who put lives at risk throughout the San Fernando Valley have to slow down," Krekorian said.
Zamora was a passenger in a vehicle being driven by her husband behind the SUV that crashed, and Schreiber rushed out of her home to help Samsonian.
Six other people suffered electrical burns, and five were hospitalized for a time. One of the injured was a patrol officer from the LAPD's North Hollywood station who suffered a shock through one of his boots.