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Cypress Park pursuit crash snarls I-5 traffic

February 1, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
A fatal pursuit crash in Cypress Park shut down the northbound lanes of the 5 Freeway at Pasadena Avenue, snarling traffic for hours Friday morning.

Authorities said the incident started shortly before 2 a.m. when three armed suspects robbed a 7-Eleven store at Cummings and 4th streets in Boyle Heights. They took an unknown amount of money and fled. The store clerk, who was held up at knifepoint in that robbery, was not injured. The suspects were said to be 20 to 25 years old.

Police officers attempted to pull over the suspects' red Ford Expedition, but they failed to stop, prompting a pursuit.

The chase ended when the driver crashed into another car and a bridge barrier on the northbound 5 Freeway near the 110 Freeway. The SUV flipped over, killing one suspect and critically injuring two others, officials said. The driver of the other vehicle was not injured.

"It spun five, six times on itself, rolling, where it came to rest on the freeway median," described LAPD Sgt. Rudy Lopez. Officers say money stolen from the 7-Eleven was scattered over the freeway at the crash scene.

The 7-Eleven has only been open for three weeks, and many residents in the area can't believe it's already been robbed.

"They're new to the area, you know, when new businesses come, this is not the way to be welcomed unfortunately," said Yolanda Delatorre, a Boyle Heights resident. Delatorre said she is tired of seeing crimes in her neighborhood that come with a heavy price.

"This day and age, I don't even see why with video and everything and the way the police can track you down, why they even attempt it. It's just fruitless," Delatorre said.

Several drivers stuck in traffic were seen jumping the median to get back onto the northbound 5 Freeway.

Traffic was being diverted onto the 110 Freeway. All lanes reopened just before 8 a.m.


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