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Passenger Killed as Car Goes Off Embankment

Less than 10 minutes after California Highway Patrol officers began receiving calls Thursday about a drunk driver on the Antelope Valley Freeway near Agua Dulce, the car that officers were looking for went off a 100-foot embankment and rolled numerous times, killing the passenger and injuring the driver, authorities said.

CHP officers were dispatched at 6:43 a.m. to search for a southbound Buick reported by motorists using car phones and roadside call boxes. But by 6:52 a.m., motorists reported the car had gone off the freeway just south of Escondido Canyon Road, Officer Margaret Bevan said.

The car was found 100 feet down the embankment. Witnesses told the CHP that it veered off the road at 60 m.p.h. for no apparent reason.

“Our units were attempting to locate it when we got the call that a car had gone off the side,” Bevan said.

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The driver and passenger were ejected as the car crashed down the embankment.

The passenger, a man believed to be about 18 years old, was killed on impact. His name and home town were not known.

The driver, Javier Huerrera Beltran, 24, of El Monte was taken to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital in Santa Clarita where he was treated for minor injuries.

Bevan said Beltran was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated and may be charged in his passenger’s death.

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