Accident Injures 2; Driver Is Arrested

A North Hollywood man was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving after his car ran a red light at a North Hollywood intersection and struck a second car, seriously injuring the driver and her 11-year-old brother, Los Angeles police said.

Nerces Altounian, 37, was treated for chest pain and scrapes at the Van Nuys Jail dispensary after the 9:15 p.m. Thursday accident at Coldwater Canyon Avenue and Oxnard Street, Detective G. Ruiz said.

The driver of the second car, Sara Lee, 17, of North Hollywood, was treated for a broken pelvis, scrapes and bruises at Northridge Hospital Medical Center, where she remained in serious condition Friday, said Leslie Wither, hospital spokeswoman. Lee's brother, Daniel, was taken by a Los Angeles Fire Department helicopter to Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles, where he was in stable condition Friday with a head bruise, said Gwen Young, hospital spokeswoman.

Lee's car had just entered the intersection heading east on Oxnard when it was struck by Altounian's car, which was traveling south on Coldwater at a speed estimated by witnesses between 50 and 60 m.p.h., police said.

Lee was trapped in her car for about 30 minutes before firefighters were able to free her, authorities said. Another driver told police that Altounian's car swerved into opposing traffic and almost hit his car moments before crashing into Lee's car. Altounian was arrested after he failed a field sobriety test.

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