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Hit-and-run crash splits car in half

June 7, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Investigators are looking for the driver of a speeding minivan who crashed into a smaller car with such force that the car split in half. An investigation is underway in Lynwood after an incredibly violent crash killed one person early Sunday morning.

The victim who died in the crash was driving a Honda Accord. His car was split in half. Friends identified the victim as 37-year-old Jose Juan Valenzuela Ramos.

Officials are searching for the driver of a maroon minivan who fled the scene on foot.

The collision happened at approximately 1 a.m. Sunday at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Atlantic Avenue.

Authorities say that the minivan was travelling south on Atlantic Avenue when it crashed into the Honda at the intersection. The impact was so extreme the Honda was split apart. Ramos died from his injuries at the scene.

A section of the Honda ended up on a sidewalk by a gas station. A witness described what she saw.

"We were going up Atlantic and we saw this van going 70 to 75 mph. I told my husband little does he know there's a cop in front of him and they're going to catch him. Through my rear view mirror I see him impact the car and the car just cuts in two pieces," said Itziar Contreras, witness.

Again the driver of the minivan ran away from the scene. A passenger in his vehicle was detained by police for questioning and authorities say that they are following some leads.

Anyone with information is urged to call the L.A. County Sheriff's Department at (323) 568-4800.

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