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Suspect arrested in fatal USC hit-and-run

April 3, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A woman has been arrested in connection with a fatal hit-and-run collision on the USC campus, police said Friday.The Los Angeles Police Department held a news conference at 4 p.m. Friday to announce the arrest of Claudia Cabrera, 30. She was arrested Friday on investigation of gross vehicular manslaughter. Police are seeking Cabrera's husband, Joshue Luna, as a person of interest in the case.

Cabrera is being held on $1 million bail in Van Nuys.

Adrianna Bachan, 18, and Marcus Garfinkle, 19, were struck by a car as they crossed Jefferson Boulevard at Hoover Street on the edge of the USC campus Sunday morning, March 29. The car had run a red light.

Bachan was killed, while Garfinkle was seriously injured. The driver stopped briefly at the scene, while his passenger got out and removed Garfinkle from the hood of their car. They fled the scene, leaving the victims on the street. Police said a 7-month-old boy was in the car, the son of Cabrera and Luna.

Garinkle remains hospitalized in serious condition with two broken legs and other injuries.

The L.A. City Council had approved a $75,000 reward on Wednesday, adding to the $50,000 reward offered by USC and the $10,000 reward approved by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

An anonymous donor had pledged another $100,000 on Thursday to a reward, bringing the total to more than $230,000.

Police said $235,000 in award money offered in connection with the accident was a factor in the arrest.

Both students were freshmen at USC who were reportedly returning to their campus housing from a fraternity party.

Bachan's mother said she screamed when she heard of the arrest.

"I did my grieving by coming out, taking action, and I always said, 'I'm going to get them.' Nobody kills my daughter and gets away with it," said mother Carmen Bachan. "Because when my daughter died, it was good versus evil."

Bachan said she is grateful to the couple who donated the extra $100,000 to the reward fund. The couple was reportedly touched by the tragedy and wanted to help.

Anyone with information about the two other suspects is urged to call the LAPD at (877) LAPD-24-7.

City News Service contributed to this story.


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