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Car hits woman, bursts into flames

September 8, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
A fiery crash in South Los Angeles kills a pedestrian.Relatives and friends of 39-year-old Juliana Flores Fallecio was struck and killed on Monday morning.

"She didn't have a problem with anyone," said a translator for Angelina Flores, the victim's sister. "She doesn't know why this happened to her. She had no problem with nobody. She just can't believe what happened."

Fallecio was waiting at the bus stop when police were about to pull over a black Thunderbird. However, the Thunderbird slid out of control after hitting a gray Impala that was making an illegal turn.

Eyewitness News anchor David Ono was shooting a story just a few blocks away. He was the first reporter on the scene.

A woman, who spoke to Eyewitness News, was nearly hit as well.

"The car jumped the pole, the police come around the other car, and the car almost hit me," said the woman. "I had to swerve to keep the car from hitting me."

Witnesses say the pedestrian was knocked 50 feet from the point of impact. She was rushed to the hospital, where she later died.

"I just seen her flew, from the light ... from the bus stop," said a man who had just given the victim $5.00 to catch the bus to visit her husband. She told the young man her husband was in the hospital.

Police say the incident began after they started following a man who was driving erratically through a fast food parking lot. He then led police into the street.

"They followed eastbound on Vernon. And, when they got to the intersection, here at Broadway, they observed the collision," said Lieutenant John Romero, Los Angeles Police Department.

It is unknown whether or not he was involved in a police pursuit at the time of the crash.

"She was either on the curb or on the sidewalk ... but, in the direct path of the skidding suspect vehicle. The suspect that's in the burned out car, the car was on fire and the officers had to rescue him from the car," said Lt. Romero.

Officers who pulled the suspect out of the car were treated for smoke inhalation.

Police arrested 42-year-old Agustin Geronimo of Los Angeles, the driver of the gray Impala.

"The Impala driver made an illegal left turn and that was the primary cause of the collision," said Officer Karen Smith, Los Angeles Police Department.

Geronimo faces a manslaughter charge.

 

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