Teen Driver Charged With Murder in Crash That Killed Hacienda Heights Mother

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A teen motorist who struck a 42-year-old mother driving with her two children, killing the woman, was charged Tuesday with murder because his alleged high rate of speed was the primary factor in the deadly Hacienda Heights collision, authorities said.

Aron Harutun Petrosian, who was 17 at the time of the Dec. 17, 2014, crash, was arrested April 30 following a lengthy investigation, the California Highway Patrol’s Southern Division announced.

The crash occurred about 2:40 p.m. on Halliburton Road at Duranzo Drive, where Petrosian, now 18, allegedly drove a 2012 Chevrolet Camaro SS at a high rate of speed.

Bertha Alicia Rosales, 42, was with her two children in a 2007 BMW 328i and was stopped at the intersection, preparing to turn left. The BMW entered the intersection and was broadsided by the Camaro, according to CHP.

The posted speed limit in the area is 40 mph, CHP stated. Petrosian’s alleged speed was not provided.

Rosales was fatally injured and her children sustained severe injuries.

Investigators obtained a search warrant for the “black box” in in Petrosian’s Camaro to learn the speed of the sports car.

“Investigators established that Mr. Petrosian was driving at such a high rate of speed, that it was the primary cause factor in the deadly collision,” a CHP news release stated.

Rosales had her 10-year-old and 13-year-old sons, two of her four sons, in the car, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported shortly after the crash.

The family had previously been struck by tragedy in 2011, when Rosales’ sister and 3-year-old nephew were killed in a house fire, according to the newspaper.

Rosales, of Hacienda Heights, was driving the two boys home from school when the crash occurred, according to the Tribune. An online fundraiser set up by the boys’ soccer team raised about $27,000 for the family.

A felony criminal complaint provided by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office shows the defendant was charged Tuesday. The complaint also alleged that the defendant caused great bodily injury to Rosales’ sons, Issaic and Ramon.

The complaint spells the defendant’s name “Peprosian,” as do county inmate records, in contrast to the spelling provided by CHP.

His bail was set at $1.06 million on May 1, and he was set to be arraigned on May 20 in Pomona, according to information provided by the DA’s office.