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News Release

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Media Relations

Three Die in Tragic Traffic Accident

Los Angeles: Three young men, all 18, were killed, and two younger boys were seriously injured, when their speeding car collided with a tree early Wednesday morning in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles.

On December 20, 2006, around 1:00 A.M., five teenagers were riding in a 2000 Nissan Maxima, heading east at a high rate of speed on Los Feliz Boulevard. The driver lost control of the vehicle when he attempted a lane change to pass a slower car. The Maxima to veered off the road and crash into a tree.

The driver, Matthew Nicolas Hernandez, and his front seat passenger, Matthew Merrill, both of Los Angeles, died at the scene. A third fatality, an 18-year-old man in the backseat, died after a passersby removed him from the wreckage. His identity has not been released pending notification of family.

Two boys, 14 and 15 years old, also seated in the backseat, were rushed by paramedics to local hospitals where they were treated for multiple fractures and burns.

Questions may be directed to Central Traffic Division Detective Josephine Mapson or Michael Kaden at 213-972-1825, or the Central Traffic Watch Commander at 213-972-1853.