GARDEN GROVE : Crash Kills Woman; Youth, 17, Arrested

A 17-year-old Anaheim youth was arrested early Sunday on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter after his car slammed into another in a Garden Grove intersection, injuring the driver and killing her passenger, authorities said.

The impact ejected passenger Toni Marie Fatone, 38, of Anaheim, whose body was found in bushes about 20 feet from the intersection of Orangewood Avenue and Brookhurst Street, Garden Grove police said. She died of massive head injuries in the 2 a.m. crash, a spokesman for the coroner's office said.

The driver of the car in which Fatone rode was treated for cuts and bruises at Humana Hospital-Westminster and later released, authorities said. She was identified as Linda Wendt, 32, of Norwalk, Garden Grove Police Sgt. Bump Willis said.

In a related crash that occurred minutes earlier about a quarter of a mile away, the Anaheim youth allegedly rammed a motorcyclist with his car and fled, police said. The cyclist, Dennis Villalon, 20, of Anaheim was in stable condition at UCI Medical Center in Orange, hospital officials said.

The 17-year-old suspect apparently was not injured in either collision, Willis said. The unidentified teen-ager was being held Sunday at Juvenile Hall in Orange.

The chain of events began shortly before 2 a.m., when the suspect got into an argument with Villalon at a party in the Garden Grove area, police said. Both left the party. The teen-ager then allegedly rammed Villalon's motorcycle at Palmwood Drive and Orangewood Avenue.

The youth fled the crash scene and sped westbound on Orangewood, crashing into Wendt's car, which was southbound on Brookhurst, police said. The impact spun Wendt's car around, ejecting Fatone.

Dazed and with blood streaming down her forehead, Wendt was found sitting beside the road wondering what had happened to her passenger, said a nearby resident who went outside after she was awakened by the noise. Passersby then began searching for Fatone and found her body in the bushes, said the resident, who asked not to be identified.

The suspect was arrested at the scene.

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