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134 Freeway crash: Van Nuys High School custodian killed in Eagle Rock

A father and Van Nuys High School custodian was killed in a crash involving a suspected drunk driver in Eagle Rock.
January 26, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
A father and Van Nuys High School custodian was killed in a wrong-way crash involving a suspected drunk driver in Eagle Rock early Sunday.

Salvador Orellana, 53, was in a car with his 20-year-old son, Kirk, travelling on the 134 Freeway around midnight when a suspected drunk driver going the wrong way crashed head-on into their vehicle.

Orellana survived the head-on crash, only to be hit by another car while standing on the 134 Freeway.

"They were trying to talk to the driver and then another car came and struck them. They were in the middle of the freeway. I guess when it struck them my father flew," said Orellana's daughter, Karen Orellana.

She said her father and brother got out of the car because the 60-year-old DUI suspect was trying to get away.

"He was trying to escape," she said. "It's just really sad to know that somebody that was not conscious was drinking, driving, caused this."

Orellana died at the scene. His son is hospitalized with broken bones and bruises but will recover.

The 69-year-old woman driving the third vehicle was treated for minor injuries. The suspected drunk driver, a man from Duarte, also suffered minor injuries. He has been arrested.

Orellana worked for the Los Angeles Unified School District for 16 years. He was a custodian at Van Nuys High School.

"I was just with him the day prior to the accident. We had lunch, we talked," Karen Orellana said, recalling the last happy moments she spent with her father.

The family says the father of three was a hard-working, friendly guy who will be missed by a lot of people.

"He's always been a hard worker. He's been separated from my mother but he's always been in my life, always been there when I needed him. So this is really hard for us right now," Karen Orellana said.


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