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Street racing likely led to fatal crash in Long Beach, police say

Street racing likely led to fatal crash in Long Beach, police say
Shown is the wreckage of a crash that killed one person and injured another Monday night at Ocean Boulevard and Orizaba Avenue in Long Beach. (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

A fatal crash on Long Beach's scenic Ocean Boulevard on Monday night was probably caused by a street race, police said.

The crash occurred about 10:15 p.m. when a yellow 2003 Honda S2000 convertible lost control while traveling west on Ocean Boulevard and struck two palm trees at Orizaba Avenue, police said. The 27-year-old passenger was thrown from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene. The car's 22-year-old driver was hospitalized and listed in critical condition.

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One car involved in the alleged race fled and police questioned the driver of a third vehicle but made no arrests.

"Based on the preliminary investigation, which includes witness statements and evidence at the scene, investigators believe that two or more vehicles may have possibly been involved in street racing," police said in a statement Tuesday.

As police were investigating the wreck, a suspected drunk driver drove through the cordoned-off area and broadsided an empty police cruiser, KTLA-TV Channel 5 reported. That driver was arrested.

It would be the second street racing death in the L.A. area in less than a week. On Thursday, a 19-year-old died in the city of Commerce after the car he was riding in during a race with another car struck a pole and split in two.

Monday night's crash was the second fatal collision in Long Beach in less than a week. On Thursday night, two people died when a motorcyclist fatally struck a pedestrian before laying down her bike, which was hit by a car, killing her.

For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna on Twitter.

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