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Sheriff's cruiser had no lights or sirens on in fatal Palmdale crash

Law EnforcementCrime, Law and Justice

This post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details.

A Palmdale sheriff’s deputy who was responding to a call before broadsiding an SUV and killing two passengers did not have sirens or lights on, authorities said Monday.

The fatal crash was reported about 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Avenue R and 17th Streeet. 

CHP Officer Gil Hernandez said the deputy was responding to a call that did not warrant the use of lights and sirens.

He said there are different levels of response for radio calls that law enforcement officers receive. 

Authorities said the SUV, a 1994 Ford Explorer, was traveling north on 17th Street and the sheriff's patrol car was heading east on Avenue R when the collision occurred. 

“For unknown reasons” the SUV entered the intersection “directly in front of” the patrol car, according to a CHP statement released this weekend. The patrol car “broadsided” the SUV, causing it to spin out and eject two passengers onto the roadway, the statement said.

The two passengers have been identified by coroner officials as Sara Paynter, 20, of Van Nuys and Robert Delgadillo, 31, of Palmdale. Neither was wearing a seat belt, Hernandez said. 

The deputy was taken to the hospital for minor injuries.

The speeds of the vehicles when the collision occurred were unknown. But Lt. Ken Wright of the sheriff’s Palmdale station said the deputy involved in the fatal crash was responding to a call about a fight nearby.

[For the record, 3:30 p.m. Dec. 18:  An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that the victims' 1994 Ford Explorer was traveling eastbound on Avenue R and the sheriff’s patrol car was heading northbound on 17th Street. The patrol car was actually driving on Avenue R; the Explorer was on 17th Street. The post also incorrectly stated that the driver of the Explorer was taken to the hospital. The SUV driver was not hospitalized.]

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Twitter: @latvives

ruben.vives@latimes.com

Times staff writer Matt Stevens contributed to this report.

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