CANOGA PARK, LOS ANGELES – At 11.30 o’clock on Friday evening, , L. A. police officers were chasing a Toyota 1991 Camry stolen earlier this day from the neighborhood of Canoga Park, said the authorities. Operating the wheel was a Canoga Park resident, later identified by the police as 20-year-old Ernesto Jacinto Lopez.
Los Angeles Police Department Valley Traffic Division Lt. Orlando Marino said that they decided to stop the pursuit when Lopez started driving recklessly at very top speed. They feared for the safety of the people as there were many pedestrians and motorists on the road as the erring driver disregarded the red lights and stop signs.
Lopez kept on speeding southwards Topanga Canyon Boulevard. After a while, the officers saw the runaway car hit a pedestrian, who was about to cross the street standing at the eastern portion of a northward crosswalk at Saticoy Street, Marino reported.
The pedestrian fell on Topanga crosswalk at Canyon Boulevard near Saticoy Street. He was immediately transported to the hospital but due to critical injuries, he later died.
The victim was identified as Arnel Cantal, 59 years old resident of Canoga Park who suffered critical injuries that he later died in the local hospital.
Lopez never halted and despite the whistle of the police even accelerated his speed going south until he ultimately crashed against a cinderblock wall and a tree. Marino recounted that the driver tried escaping on foot but he was finally apprehended by the police.
Lopez is now facing serious charges, including charges of second-degree murder that goes with a $1 million bond.
Authorities are urging witnesses who have more information of the mishap to come forward and call the offices of the Valley Traffic Division.
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