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News Release

Wednesday, September 20, 2000

Media Relations

Woman Dies in Fatal Traffic Collision

LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT
PRESS RELEASE
Wednesday, September 20, 2000



"Woman Dies in Fatal Traffic Collision"

Los Angeles - On Friday, September 15, 2000, at approximately 8:40 p.m., a fatal traffic collision occurred at the intersection of Saticoy Street and Corbin Avenue. A 1987 Sterling carrying four passengers, Driver Fernando Molina, male Hispanic, 28 years of age, right front passenger Maria Reyes, female Hispanic, and two children ages 2 and 7 years old, was positioned eastbound on Saticoy Street waiting to make a left turn onto northbound Corbin Avenue.

When the tri-light for east/west traffic changed to red and oncoming traffic had stopped, the Sterling began its left turn to proceed northbound on Corbin Avenue. At the same time a black 1995 Dodge Ram pick-up, traveling westbound on Saticoy Street, failed to stop for the red tri-light signal broadsiding the Sterling that was making a left turn.

The collision between the two vehicles resulted in a major intrusion on the right side of the Sterling causing the death of passenger Maria Reyes. The driver, Fernando Mollina, and the two rear passengers were transported to an area hospital where they were treated for minor injuries and released.

The ensuing investigation revealed that the driver of the black Dodge pick-up had fled the scene only to be apprehended by officers a short distance away. The driver was identified as Valentin Ayala, male Hispanic, 29 years of age. A subsequent investigation revealed that Garcia was driving the motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. He was subsequently booked at the Van Nuys jail div for second-degree murder.

On Tuesday, September 19, 2000, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office filed second degree murder, gross vehicular manslaughter, felony hit & run and felony DUI charges against Valentin Ayala.

Anyone with information relating to this investigation is asked to contact Detective James Deaton, Valley Traffic Division, at 818-756-8391.




For Release 5:00 pm PDT
September 20, 2000



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