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News Release

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Media Relations

Child Dies in Traffic Collision

Los Angeles:  On January 18, 2006, at approximately 11:40 p.m., a fatal traffic collision occurred at the intersection of Vernon Avenue and Avalon Boulevard.

Vanessa Lorena Amaya, a 24-year-old, resident of Fontana, was driving her 2005 Nissan Altima westbound on Vernon Avenue. Amaya failed to stop for a red tri-light signal and crashed with a car driven southbound on Avalon Boulevard by Crystal Merritt and her four-year-old daughter. The impact of the collision caused Merritt's car to go out of control and overturn.  Merritt's daughter was ejected. 

The child was taken to California Hospital where she died as a result of her injuries.

There was no evidence of driving under the influence and no arrest was made.

For further information please contact Detectives Kaden or Mapson, Central Traffic Division, at 213-972-1825.  On the weekend or during off-hours, the public can call the toll-free, 24-hour anonymous tip line at 1-877-LAWFULL (1-877-529-3855).