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Woman killed, driver injured in suspected DUI crash in North Hills

Crime, Law and JusticeDrunk DrivingCrimeLaw Enforcement

A woman was killed and a man was seriously injured early Monday in a one-car crash in the North Hills area in which drunk driving may have been a factor, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

The crash was reported around 12:30 a.m. in the 16600 block of Roscoe Boulevard near Hayvenhurst Avenue, police said.

Traffic investigators said the man was driving a 2009 Ford Focus at a high rate of speed, heading west on Roscoe Boulevard, when he lost control of the car and slammed into a light pole. 

Jennifer Benga, 19, of Northridge was on the passenger side of the vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene by Los Angeles fire paramedics.

The driver, identified only as a 24-year-old man from Van Nuys, suffered serious injuries and was taken to a hospital.

Traffic investigators said beer bottles were found inside the car. Authorities are investigating whether the driver was under the influence at the time of the crash. 

News footage of the accident showed a crumpled gold sedan on the sidewalk with a light pole nearby on the ground.

The crash came in the wake of a holiday crackdown on DUI in which Los Angeles County law enforcement officers arrested nearly 1,700 people.

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