Woman Killed in Hollywood Road Rage Incident ID'd; Friend Who Left Scene Arrested

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Investigators released revised information about a road rage incident that left a woman dead in Hollywood Tuesday, including new details about the circumstances that led to her death and the arrest of her friend who was with her at the time.

Sophia Ardalan appears in a photo provided by her family on Jan. 21, 2020.
Sophia Ardalan appears in a photo provided by her family on Jan. 21, 2020.

The deadly turn of events unfolded just around 11:50 p.m. Monday when two women in a gray Mercedes-Benz sedan collided with the rear tire of a motorcycle while both vehicles were traveling south in the 1300 block of Martel Avenue, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

The woman behind the wheel of the Mercedes continued driving and turned into a driveway on Martel Avenue, where the motorcyclist confronted them, LAPD said.

Both the driver and the passenger exited the Mercedes and "engaged in an argument" with the motorcyclist, according to police.

"The passenger then entered the front passenger seat of the vehicle which started to move forward with the driver’s side door open," LAPD's statement said. "The driver attempted to enter the driver’s seat of the moving vehicle as the vehicle collided with the curb and a tree. The driver was knocked down, became trapped under the Mercedes and succumbed to her injuries."

Paramedics responded to the scene and pronounced her dead.

Los Angeles Police Department officers investigate a fatal crash in the 1300 block of Martel Avenue in Hollywood on Jan. 21, 2020. (Credit: Loudlabs)
Los Angeles Police Department officers investigate a fatal crash in the 1300 block of Martel Avenue in Hollywood on Jan. 21, 2020. (Credit: Loudlabs)

The passenger, described as the victim's friend and later identified as 27-year-old Samantha Cunha, allegedly fled on foot.

"She actually tried to get into the car again and flee the scene, but the car was stuck," witness Mike Martinez told KTLA.

Authorities eventually detained Cunha and booked her on suspicion of felony hit-and-run, according to LAPD.

She was arrested at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday and was released on $50,000 bond just after midnight Wednesday, county inmate records show. She was scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 11.

The county coroner identified the woman who died as 27-year-old Sophia Ardalan. According to her family, she lived in the area where the crash happened. She left behind a 4-year-old daughter, family members said.

“I’m just in shock right now," her mother, Gloria, told KTLA later Tuesday. She said she and her family were trying to determine how to care for Sophia's daughter.

Earlier, police said the man who was driving the motorcycle stayed at the scene and cooperated with investigators. They previously provided incorrect ages for the women as well different information on how the deadly incident transpired.

Police did not offer any further details about the case.

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