Van Nuys Man Gets 6 Years for DUI Crash That Killed Woman, 19

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

A Van Nuys man was sentenced Tuesday to six years in state prison for a DUI crash that killed a 19-year-old woman, officials said.


A Ford Focus is seen after a crash that killed at 19-year-old woman in Lake Balboa on Monday, Dec. 30, 2014. (Credit: KTLA)

Edward Lamont Powe, 25, pleaded no contest on May 6 to one count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, according to a statement issued by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

About 12:30 a.m. on Dec. 30, 2013, Powe was driving a late-model Ford Focus at more than 90 mph in Lake Balboa, the Los Angeles Police Department said. His friend, Jennifer Benga, was a passenger in the vehicle.

The car struck some railroad tracks before hitting a light pole, passenger-side first, shearing the pole off at its base near Roscoe Boulevard and Hayvenhurst Avenue (map), according to prosecutors.

Benga died at the scene.

Powe was found trapped in the car, “smelling of alcohol with three beer cans in his pockets,” the DA’s statement said.

He was transported to a hospital in serious condition and was treated for “very significant injuries,” LAPD Detective Bill Bustos said at the time.