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Suspected drunk driver kills cyclist, injures 5 in Ventura

May 12, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A suspected drunk driver was arrested after killing a bicyclist and injuring five others in three separate hit-and-run accidents in Ventura.

Satnam Singh, 49, is accused of multiple crimes including hit-and-run, gross vehicular manslaughter and felony driving under the influence.

Singh rammed his Hummer into 20-year-old college student Nicholas Haverland and killed him. It was around 7 p.m. Wednesday when Sing allegedly hit Haverland after swerving into the bicycle lane on Telegraph Road.

"I ran across the street, and he was in the road, and you could just tell he was already gone," said witness Nancy Crawford.

Mourners brought flowers to the spot where Haverland was killed.

"He was just an amazing, bright, inquisitive child," said Heidi House, who knew the victim.

Shortly before that on the same road, Singh allegedly darted into the bicycle lane and hit Corina Topete and her 13-year-old daughter Daniela. Both were knocked off of their bikes and suffered injuries. Daniela hurt her arm and her mother a deep gash to her land.

"I am very upset and emotional about this," said Corina Topete. "I wish he would just burn in hell. I cannot believe this happened, he took a life, a 20-year-old boy's life and with no consideration. If he would have stopped when he hit me and my daughter this kid would still be alive."

Singh is accused of failing to stop to help any of the victims. He allegedly slammed into a pickup truck along the same road before driving home. Police said a witness followed Singh to his residence in the 140 block of Kennedy Avenue, a few blocks from the multiple hit and runs.

Police arrested Singh at his home, and he was taken to Ventura County Medical Center for minor injuries.

Corina Topete said after she and her daughter were hit she screamed for someone to stop the driver before anyone else might get hurt, but sadly it was too late. She and her daughter visited Haverland's makeshift memorial.

"I m just upset a life is lost because of someone's inconsideration," said Corina Topete. "We're fine yes, but there's still a life lost."

Corina Topete and her daughter said they have reflected on how close they came to being killed. They said the vehicle hit them from behind, giving them no time to brace themselves for the impact or time to try to get out of the way.

"I just saw something like black hit me and then when I woke up there was like a bunch of girls next to us," said Daniele Topete. "I heard the girls dialing 911 and when I looked up I saw the police coming up. It just happened so fast. I was barely starting to remember things when I was in the hospital."


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