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Retired LAPD cop killed in hit-run crash

September 27, 2010 12:39:48 AM PDT
A car blows through an intersection and slams into a minivan, killing the minivan's driver. Deputies say three people in the car took off and they still haven't been found. It all happened early Monday morning near the Garfield onramp to the 105 Freeway in Paramount. A recently installed traffic signal at the onramp can be confusing to drivers, area residents say. It was not clear if that was a factor in the fatal accident.

The twisted and mangled wreckage tells the story of a horrific crash at Garfield Avenue and the westbound 105 Freeway onramp that left a minivan on top of a Chrysler sedan.

Investigators say the sedan was traveling between 40 and 60 mph and may have run a red light when it struck the van, which was going southbound on Garfield around 2:30 a.m.

The driver of the van, 39-year-old retired LAPD officer Edwin S. Lee, was pronounced dead at the scene, while the driver of the sedan and its two passengers fled.

"There were three people seen running from the sedan going towards the west and we have a confirmed fatality at the scene," said L.A. County Sheriff's Deputy Mark Campbell. "Right now we're looking at felony hit-and-run."

Drops of blood were found in a nearby parking lot just yards west of the crash, but the three men have not been found and their identities were not known Monday night.

The car is registered to someone in Sonora, Mexico.

One nearby resident who did not want to be on camera said there's been an increase in the number of accidents here since a new traffic signal was put in.

"It's horrifying. We're just trying to find out how and why something like this would happen," said Paramount resident Norm Forget. "It's just terrible. Terrible crash. My take on it, it's probably a stolen car, he was running the light and that poor gentleman was in the way."

"Probably on his way to work, or going home to see his family and now he's not going to make it there," said Ron Forget, a Paramount resident. "It's a shame."

Edwin Lee leaves behind his wife and a 2-year-old daughter. A couple of his friends stopped at the scene Monday afternoon. They said a group of Lee's friends plans to meet at the crash site later Monday evening.

Meantime, authorities continue to search for the three men who were inside the Chrysler sedan who fled the scene.

If you have any information about their whereabouts or their identities you are urged to call the L.A. County Sheriff's Lakewood Division at (562) 623-3500.


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