Driver Arrested After Running Away From Pickup Truck Involved in Fatal Crash in Northridge: Police
Nouran Salahieh, Sara Welch, Kareen Wynter, and Brian Day
Authorities arrested a Van Nuys woman who ran away after being involved in a two-vehicle crash in Northridge early Sunday that left another woman dead, authorities said.
Officers and paramedics responded to the area of 9857 Balboa Boulevard at about 5:20 a.m. to find that a white pickup truck and a silver sedan had crashed, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
The driver of the sedan was pronounced dead at the scene, LAPD said. She was identified as 54-year-old Maribel Elizabeth Garcia of Van Nuys, according to Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Lt. Larry Dietz.
Police say the injured pickup truck driver was seen leaving the crash site on foot.
“Investigators at scene conducted relentless follow-ups and subsequently located the female suspect,” the LAPD said in a written statement. “She has been identified as Barbara (Ann) Vergara, a 54-year-old resident of Van Nuys.”
Vergara was taken in to custody by officers from the LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division about 1 p.m., according to Los Angeles County booking records.
Video from the scene shows responders from the Los Angeles Fire Department working on the badly damaged silver car.
Its hood and side appeared completely caved in on the driver’s side and the windshield was shattered. Nearby, a white pickup truck can be seen stopped on the sidewalk with damage to its hood and bumper.
Both vehicles appeared to have veered off the roadway and onto a sidewalk with a bus stop bench. One of the metallic pillars that holds up the bench’s shelter appeared to have gone through the car’s rear windshield and had to be cut off by firefighters, video showed.
It’s unclear what led to the crash. No further details were immediately available.
Vergara was being held in lieu of $90,000 pending her initial court appearance, records show.
KTLA’s Alexis Lewis contributed to this report.