1 Dies as Speeding Car Hits City Truck Head-On

Times Staff Writer

A head-on collision between a speeding car and a city garbage truck in Woodland Hills Friday afternoon left a passenger in the car dead and the driver suffering from massive internal injuries.

The accident occurred shortly before 12:30 p.m. on Platt Avenue near El Camino High School. Police said they believe two carloads of friends were driving back to the high school after lunch at a nearby restaurant.

Witnesses and investigators said that one of the cars, a white Pontiac J-2000, was traveling south on Platt at speeds up to 90 miles per hour when it skidded across a double yellow line and smashed into the garbage truck, police reported.

The passenger, whose identity was withheld pending notification of relatives, was thrown from the car. He was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

The driver, Mihn Do of West Los Angeles, whose age was not available, was pried from the car by firemen and was taken by helicopter to Northridge Hospital Medical Center. He was in critical condition Friday night.

Police said Do, a student at UCLA, had been ticketed last week for speeding along the same stretch of road.

Traffic investigators said they will seek vehicular manslaughter charges against Do.

John Lewis, driver of the garbage truck, complained of a minor hip injury but did not require hospitalization, police said.

A friend of the victims who was riding in the car following Do's may have suffered a mild heart attack after seeing the crash, police said. She was taken to a nearby hospital.

The milelong stretch of Platt Avenue leading to El Camino High has been a speedway for students going to and from lunch, police said. They said both victims graduated from El Camino last year.

Traffic patrolmen have been closely monitoring the stretch for 10 months in hopes of deterring speeders in the 35-m.p.h. zone.

Officer Richard Breidenthal said the ticket given to Do last week was one of many patrolmen have written along Platt recently.

"It's a notorious speed strip," Breidenthal said. "The speeds out here are outrageous. Something like this is bound to happen."

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