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Man Fighting Driver Killed by Second Car

A man who was hanging on the side of a car and fighting with the driver was killed when a drunk driver slammed into the vehicle in a Reseda intersection, Los Angeles police reported Monday.

After the Sunday night collision, both drivers got out of their cars and fled, police said, although one was later arrested. The victim was identified as Rodolfo Gonzales, 22, of Reseda.

Detective Don Bellante said the 8 p.m. accident at Tampa Avenue and Valerio Street occurred after a car driven my an unidentified man apparently stopped on Valerio and Gonzales leaned into the car through the driver’s window.

The two men started fighting, Bellante said, and the car, with Gonzales hanging on to the side, was driven east to Tampa, where it ran a stop sign and stopped in the middle of the intersection while the fight continued.

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A car driven north on Tampa by Jesus Fraga, 21, of Canoga Park, crashed into the stopped car, knocking it onto its side and on top of Gonzales, Bellante said. Both drivers got out of their cars and fled, he said. Meanwhile, neighbors ran to the crash and pushed the car off of Gonzales, but he was already dead.

Bellante said Fraga was arrested at his home on suspicion of drunk driving and felony hit and run. However, he said it is unlikely that Fraga will be charged in the victim’s death because Gonzales’ actions played a contributing part in the fatal accident. Fraga was being held in the Van Nuys Jail in lieu of $11,000 bail.

Police had not arrested the driver of the other vehicle.


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