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News Release

Monday, October 9, 2006

Media Relations

Hit-and-run Driver Kills Two, Injures Two

Los Angeles: Police arrested a Redondo Beach man on Saturday night, around 10:40 PM, after he killed a man and woman in a traffic collision as he tried to get away from another collision.

Jose Onesimo Cruz, 37, was detained after he sped through a red light at at Slauson and Hooper Avenues in his red Dodge Durango. The Durango crashed into a 1991 Nissan 300ZX, which was crossing the intersection. Both cars spun out of control and hit a pedestrian on the sidewalk.

Jimy Guzman, 19, and his 18-year-old girlfriend, Maria Cuellar, were killed instantly by the impact. Both victims were from Los Angeles.

According to detectives, the fatal collision was set in motion when Cruz tried to get away from the scene of an earlier minor collision with a 1994 Honda at Slauson and Vermont Avenues. The Honda's driver followed Cruz.

The driver of the Honda suffered pain to his leg, back and neck in the first collision, while the pedestrian suffered a broken thigh. Both were taken to the hospital.

Cruz tried to flee from the second collision, but witnesses detained him for police. Cruz was booked on a charge of Murder. Detectives' preliminary investigation showed he was driving under the influence of alcohol, for which he has prior convictions in 2001.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to contact Central Traffic Division detectives at 213-972-1825. On weekends and during off-hours, call the 24-hour toll free number at 1-877-LAWFULL (1-877-529-3855).

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