Police identified a 21-year-old man as the suspected driver who lost control of a modified Ford Mustang during an illegal street race and plowed into a crowd of spectators, leaving two dead and one injured in Chatsworth early Thursday.
Henry Michael Gevorgyan was being sought by Los Angeles police in connection with the crash that occurred just after 2 a.m. in the 21400 block of Plummer Street (map).
Gevorgyan was allegedly racing another vehicle westbound on Plummer Street from Canoga Avenue when he lost control during an “illegal street race,” according to LAPD.
A man in his 20s died at the scene, while a second man in his 20s was pronounced dead at a hospital in Northridge, according to Los Angeles Police Department Capt. John McMahon.
One of those killed was identified by police as 26-year-old Eric Siguenza, who died at the scene. The family of the other victim, who died after he was transported to a hospital asked that he not be identified until more relatives could be told, police said.
A third person, identified as Luis Antonio Gonzalez, 21, was hospitalized in serious but stable condition, police said.
The alleged driver was identified about 5 p.m. Thursday in what police characterized as a rapidly developing investigation. Gevorgyan was driving a gray Mustang that had been modified for illegal street racing when he lost control and plowed into a crowd of dozens of onlookers, LAPD Detective Bill Bustos said at 5 p.m. news conference.
“I want to say to Mr. Gevorgyan, please turn yourself in. It’s just a matter of time before we get you,” Bustos said.
The driver of the Mustang fled the scene, failing to render aid to the victims, Bustos said. Gevorgyan was wanted on suspicion of murder and felony hit-and-run.
A flier released by LAPD listed Gevorgyan as both 21 and 22 years old; a press release later said he was 21. He was described as Armenian with dark hair.
McMahon had said tire marks left on the roadway near the crash site were consistent with street racing.
According to Bustos, the marks appeared “to be fresh.” He later stated that it was still not clear whether the tracks were related the early-morning incident.
“Definitely this is illegal,” Bustos said. “The marks we see here are circular in motion, obviously they were doing an exhibition of speed and obviously that’s a hazard for the public.”
Bustos and local residents said street racing was a problem in the area.
“There’s some areas in the San Fernando Valley … that unfortunately some individuals choose to drive fast, putting the public in danger,” Bustos said during an early morning news conference. “Obviously we’re asking them not to do that because these could be the results.”
Dozens of people were believed to be at the scene at the time the pedestrians were struck.
Investigators were checking nearby businesses and buildings to see if any surveillance video captured the hit-and-run.
Bustos urged anyone who witnessed the collision or had information about the incident to contact LAPD at 818-644-8000.
— LAPDValleyTraffic (@LAPDVTD) February 27, 2015
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly spelled one victim’s last name. The post has been updated.