Driver Dies After SUV Plunges From 405 Freeway in Van Nuys

Authorities investigate a fatal crash along the 405 Freeway in Van Nuys on July 19, 2019. (Credit: RMG News)

Authorities investigate a fatal crash along the 405 Freeway in Van Nuys on July 19, 2019. (Credit: RMG News)

A driver was killed and his passenger injured when their SUV veered from an on-ramp to the 405 Freeway and overturned in Van Nuys before dawn Friday, officials said.

Investigators are still working to determine why Arutyun Darakchyan, a 39-year-old Van Nuys man, sent his 2018 Cadillac Escalade off the southbound on-ramp at Roscoe Boulevard around 3:20 a.m., the California Highway Patrol said in a news release.

The Cadillac drifted to the left and went up a concrete curb before swerving back right and plunging from the freeway, where it tumbled down a dirt embankment, detectives said.

Video from the scene showed the SUV came to rest on its side along a fence that separates the interstate from industrial businesses, including the Budweiser factory.

Darakchyan was ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene, officials said.

His passenger, 41-year-old Elgrid Ovasapyan of Sherman Oaks, had to be extricated from the Escalade by first responders. He suffered minor injuries and was treated at the Northridge Hospital Medical Center, according to CHP.

Investigators say they saw no evidence the men were using seatbelts. They’re also looking into the possibility that alcohol impairment was a factor.

The southbound 405’s rightmost lane and on-ramp were closed at Roscoe Boulevard for three hours while authorities processed the scene.

The crash remains under investigation.

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