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Teen Driver in Good Samaritan Crash Deaths Arrested on Suspicion of Manslaughter

Arman Samsonian is booked into the Van Nuys Station jail Thursday and is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail, according to the LASD.

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.

See related stories:

  • UPDATED: Focus Shifts to Reckless Driving in Good Samaritan Deaths
  • Fire Officials to Review Paramedic Bills for Good Samaritans in Electrocution Accident
  • Crisis Counseling Offered for Good Samaritan Deaths

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.

Ella October 26, 2012 at 11:38 PM
This is really sad how corrupted the whole justice system system is. The city wants to blame a 19 year old innocent that was purely accident instead of fixing the problem with safety measures that could reoccur with fire hydrants close to electric poles. Councilman Krikotian should think about that putting innocent child behind bars is certainly not helping anything and wasting taxpayers money. My heart goes out to all the victims family and to this young man's family.
goodeyejohn October 27, 2012 at 01:58 AM
Are you really saying this man (19 yrs old) should be forgiven for his actions? The immediate results of his speeding and reckless driving are what caused these poor women to die. Should we allow him to get a new car and see if he can repeat his actions? Do you realize that if during an armed robbery a victim dies of a heart attack the perpetrator can be charged with murder? This man deserves to go to prison just as if he killed those brave souls with his bare hands. I will gladly watch my taxpayer dollars used to put this jerk away for a long, long time.
Robin October 27, 2012 at 02:12 AM
Innocent? Accident? He was street racing at well over 75 MPH in a residential area according to several witnesses. You have the stupidity and audacity to call him "innocent?" Get a clue. This punk needs to be locked up for 10-20 years minimum for causing the deaths of two truly innocent victims. We need zero tolerance for street racing and/or reckless driving.
PATRICK SULLIVAN October 27, 2012 at 07:59 PM
My of my best friends was hit broadside in a street racing crash. All he did was cross the street and midway through, bam! He was in a coma for 4 weeks then passed. This young man was part of the problem. Yet also was the 1950's technology the street lights use. No GFI, No breaker, NADA. There is plenty of blame to go around, it's just sad people lost their lives trying to render aid. This is a lose, lose situation no matter how you look at it!
Denise October 27, 2012 at 11:35 PM
It is appalling to think that anyone, including Ella (above) could even fathom that this guy was innocent. Unless you live in a cave, you know exactly how these guys drive. If it was one of their own family members who was electrocuted, then maybe 'they' would begin to have a reality check & slow down. CARS ARE LETHAL WEAPONS, NOT VIDEO GAMES. I think that is where alot of this stems from. A sign of the times and technology. As for fire hydrants near power poles, not much you can do about that. The power lines run along the curb, and that is where the fire hydrants are, as they need to be in proximity to the homes and the streets. If they weren't there & you needed one, you would be complaining about that.
S. Silver October 30, 2012 at 08:21 PM
Wow Ella - what are you thinking! Let's blame everyone and everything else for this tragedy except the one whom with his reckless actions caused it. Too bad he was not a minor so that his parents, along with him, faced financial responsibility. I hope his actions and the consequences he faces are plastered all over the media so that others may be deterred from committing the same. Let the punishment fit the crime and injustice he has perpetuated on the good-hearted women who rushed to save him. The coddling of the young men who drive recklessly in our cities, and far too many in the Glendale area, contributes to them feeling that they can do no wrong and will not be punished for their wrongdoing - it needs to stop once and for all!! God Bless those that lost their lives and their grieving families.
anna November 19, 2012 at 04:40 PM
I agree with you 100% Yea the deaths were caused from the accident, but the victims volunteered to go help it's not like he pleaded for help and got them killed. You people are all taking this the wrong way. You guys say oh he should be locked up for killing 2 people when he never did!!!!! did he run over them? NO!!!! So how is that killing those people pretty much risked their lives and killed themselves. No one asked them to go help. They were amazing heroes for helping him,but he shouldn't be locked up on a charge of manslaughter when he didn't physically hurt them. So please think about it!!!!
kate williams November 20, 2012 at 12:32 AM
You need to think realistically! Sure he was the cause of the accident, but you can't blame him for the deaths. Those women volunteered to help,it was there choice. People warned that there was a live wire when the second women ran to help, but did she listen? NO!!! He didn't say oh yea you over there can you help me? And as for the fire hydrants near power poles you can change the distance between, it's not necessary to have them right next to each other. It's just that by fixing all of that it will cost a lot so the city wouldn't want to do that. But in reality the CITY is the blame for!!!!!!!! IF THEY WERE WISE ENOUGH THEY WOULDN'T PUT A FIRE HYDRANT NEXT TO A LIGHT POST. What if all of this didn't happen and an earthquake or another natural disaster happened and the water gushed out from the fire hydrant and the earthquake knocked down the light pole into the water and someone was walking by and stepped into the water and got electrocuted and died!!!! What do you have to say about that!!!! The funny thing is that you guys don't say anything about the city!!! The victims families don't complain as much as all of you!! Because they understand that it was an ACCIDENT AND IT WASN'T INTENTIONAL! No one even talks about the good deeds that he did that day. Most likely if it was anyone else in his place they would runaway but he didn't! He also risked his own life to save the 2 women who were getting electrocuted and he also got electrocuted. So think before you judge!!!
goodeyejohn November 20, 2012 at 02:56 PM
GUILTY.
Denise November 21, 2012 at 12:47 AM
Right...it is a lose, lose situation. And right again, that he did not kill the women directly. But, if he hadn't been driving recklessly, he would not have had an accident, and no one would have run to his aid. If he ends up not having any consequences for his irresponsible, reckless, selfish driving, then at the very least, he should be sentenced to do motivational speaking to his community, that drives just like him & spread the word of what not to do behind the wheel of a car, & to treat it with respect, as well as all the innocent people around them.

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